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SUITED UP: Take a KDE PIM wherever you go 

The First and only Magazine for the New linux user 

3 You CAN Play 
Windows Games 
on Linux 


"You don't need 
lawyers to compete" 

Call off the 
GNOME dogs 


Quicken your finances on Linux 


Another way to manage your photos 



uing series on Inkscape 

carry yourjtunes and more using one 

of twcT ways to connect an i River 

HBvice to your Linux desktop 


Mangcflconfesses her love for GNOME (we think), 
explains how to share a partition between Windows and Linux, 
takes some guesses about solving browser problems, 
and recommerfds some Playstation 2 games (go figure). 

Is some Playstation 2 games (go figure). 




3 Patents and Innovation 


5 Who Let the GNOME 
Dogs Out? 


8 Letters 

15 Q&A with Mango Parfait 



22 Digital Exhibitionism, 
Part II: gThumb 



25 KDE Everywhere You Go: 
Personal Information 



30 Inkscape: The Elements 
of Design, Part I 


34 GnuCash 


39 I've Got Peace Like 
an iRiver 


43 Playing Windows Games on 
Linux with Cedega 


47 Windows Gaming on Linux: 
Deus Ex 



• Our continuing tutorial on Inkscape 

• Alternative Window Managers 
Part 2: Xfce 

• Review: ElOffice, a unique Java-based 
replacement for Microsoft Office | g | 


Patents and Innovation 

Innovate consistently, and you don't need lawyers to compete. 


A better title for this column might be "Patents or 
Innovation". I am not a lawyer, and I don't even play 
one on TV. In fact, one of the things I really like 
about living in Nicaragua is that lawyers are low-paid 
people who stand in lines for you and not much 
more. I do have, however, some opinions that hit 
the edge of legal issues. Here goes. 

When I was a kid playing with electronic gizmos 
in my parents' basement, I remember reading 
various tips in electronic magazines by Don 
Lancaster. Don seems to have outlived the publi- 
cations he wrote for, so I will consider his advice 
useful. After writing an assortment of books — the 
oldest of which I remember was called The TV 
Typewriter Cookbook — he wrote one called The 
Incredible Secret Money Machine. This was a 
book about his life, which focused mostly on 
how he supported himself. 

I bought and read the book. It had quite a lot 
of wisdom in it, but to me, his advice on patents 
was the most important. He said that if you 
invent something and start selling it, then you 
can be working on your next invention while 
everyone else is trying to figure out how to copy 

what you did. In other words, innovate and then 
innovate again, rather than getting bogged down 
with the lawyers. 

Today, I read all too much about the legal side 
of life in technology. This includes a regular stream 
of totally absurd patents. I won't bore you with the 
details, but if I saw one for making ice by freezing 
water, I wouldn't be too surprised. 

I recently saw a post on the Free Software 
Business mailing list from someone who has done 
some software innovation and is concerned about 
possible legal action against him when he releases 
the software. Now, he didn't steal the idea — he 
just figures that there is a chance someone has a 
patent on it or on part of it. 

Let's say you did design a machine that makes 
ice by freezing water. It might be computerized or 
at least have an indicator light that comes on 
when the water is frozen. Chances are you are an 
engineer, not a lawyer. The way the patent system 
works, you need either to start working on your 
law degree or hire a lawyer to do a patent search 
before you feel comfortable starting the manufac- 
turing of your new-fangled machine. 



Phil Hughes, 


EDITOR IN CHIEF Nicholas Petreley 
ART DIRECTOR Garrick Antikajian, 

For Editorial inquiries, please write to 


Carlie Fairchild, 





206-782-7733 ext. 2, 

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digital edition of TUX or for information about banner 
and text advertising on the TUX Web site, please visit 



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or delivery address for TUX, please visit 


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On the other hand, if you could just 
get that machine into production, you 
could put your innovative mind to work 
on something new — maybe a device to 
make steam by boiling water. Again, 
you could incorporate a computerized 
system or a light that tells the user 
when the water is boiling. (I mainly sug- 
gest this as I am sure there are lots of 
patents on whistling tea kettles.) 

The counter argument is that big 
companies won't invest in innovation 
unless they can get some protection for 
what they create. I am not sure this is 
the case. If the innovator is a big com- 
pany, it will have visibility and market 
share already. That gives the company 
the head start Don Lancaster talked 
about. If the innovator is the little guy, 
he probably won't have a huge invest- 
ment, and he always has the choice of 
selling his invention to someone with 

market share. 

This is a Linux magazine, so it is 
time to reel this in to how it applies to 
Linux. First off, the Linux kernel is not 
patented, but beyond that, there are 
very few patents related to the UNIX 
operating system. This means that 
Linux could become what the commu- 
nity needed rather than having to be a 
collection of compromises to avoid 
patent conflicts. Further, as many of 
the pieces of the basic UNIX design 
went into creating an industry standard 
(POSIX 1003), Linux could comply with 
a standard rather than being forced to 
diverge from it. 

Next, because Linux is small in desk- 
top market share today, innovation is 
likely to enter into building more mar- 
ket share. To copy what someone else 
has done is not the way to increase 
your market share. You need to do it 

better. Whether that is an office suite 
that doesn't force you to buy the new 
version or a general system design that 
protects you from worms and viruses, 
there has been room for innovation 
and it is happening. 

In writing this article, I realized that 
if there was one thing that should have 
been patented by Linus Torvalds, it was 
the way a diversified workforce created 
Linux. I am fairly confident that there 
has never been a case of such a totally 
diverse workforce (geographically, in 
native language and in skill level) work- 
ing together to create any decent-sized 
software system. In fact, this happen- 
ing by a group of volunteers world- 
wide shows that innovation can hap- 
pen without a company looking for 
patents or even employees looking for 
a paycheck. 

Draw your own conclusion, but like 
most of the Open Source Software com- 
munity, you aren't going to see me climb 
on the software patent bandwagon any 
time soon. I'm all for free the technology 
and letting the user decider 

Phil Hughes is Group Publisher for SSC Publishing, Ltd. H- 


l\ Who Let the GNOME Dogs Out? 

Complaints by GNOME fans unfounded, and some actions by evangelists underhanded. 


I just finished editing another batch of 
letters. As usual, they contain a num- 
ber of complaints about how we are 
KDE-obsessed and don't cover GNOME 
enough. One letter claims that the 
only software we have covered so far 
is KDE-specific software. And, of 
course, GNOME fans are having 
spasms about Mango Parfait's opinions 
of GNOME. I'm sure they will be 
equally thrilled with her sarcasm about 
GNOME in this issue. My suggestion to 
these folks is to lighten up and stop 
taking her comments so seriously. I'm 
sure this isn't the first time someone 
has poked fun at something you like. 
If you're so convinced that GNOME is 
best, that's all the more reason you 
should be at ease when people criti- 
cize it. You know better, right? 
Before I deal with the issue of 
GNOME coverage in TUX, let me say a 
few words about how I feel about 
GNOME. I dislike it. That shouldn't mat- 
ter. We all have our preferences. If you 
like GNOME, use it. If you hate KDE, 
great. I have no problem with that. 

Different strokes for different folks. 

What bothers me is not GNOME, but 
that we critics of GNOME have been 
accused of disliking GNOME simply 
because we don't understand it. I don't 
think that's the case, but if we really 
don't understand it, shouldn't that tell 
you something? Why wouldn't we 
understand it? Could it be because 
GNOME is one of the most unintuitive, 
inconsistent desktop environments ever 
designed? Could it be because GNOME 
keeps undergoing dramatic changes in 
its philosophy toward how a desktop 
should behave? 

Indeed, the frequent overhauls to 
the philosophical approach to how a 
desktop should behave puts GNOME 
evangelists and defenders in a very 
awkward position. Take Nautilus, the 
file manager, for example. 

"It's great because it does every- 
thing." When GNOME dumped the 
buggy Midnight Commander file manag- 
er in favor of the original version of 
Nautilus, the hype was all about how 
Nautilus would be a Swiss Army knife for 

GNOME. It was a file manager, browser, 
system administration tool, package 
manager and more. It was considered 
the core component of GNOME. See 
bw.032001/210790539.htm for a sample 
press release in 2001. 

"It's great because it's so simple 
and does only basic tasks." Later, 
GNOME developers decided to rip out 
most of the features in Nautilus and 
strip it down to basics for the benefit 
of speed and ease of use. But if you 
read the press release mentioned 
above, the original point of making 
Nautilus do everything imaginable was 
for the benefit of "ease of use". So 
which approach actually made GNOME 
easier to use? 

"It's great because it has a revolu- 
tionary new spatial design." Then 
Nautilus morphed into a "spatial" file 
manager. This "spatial" file manager 
was supposedly revolutionary, 
although anyone who has used OS/2 
knows better. The idea was that every 
folder should have its own size and 

place on the desktop, which gives that 
folder a unique "spatial identity". Every 
time you opened a folder, that folder 
would appear in the same position and 
size on the desktop you had used the 
last time you visited that folder. 

Unfortunately, whenever you open a 
new folder, the previous folder window 
remains on screen. As you navigate 
deeper through subfolders, your screen 
becomes cluttered with open windows. 
When I complained to a GNOME advo- 
cate about this behavior, his response 
was that I could change the default 
behavior of Nautilus back to the way it 
used to work by changing a registry 
setting. A registry setting? That's 
GNOME'S idea of ease of use? 
Eventually the Nautilus developers 
relented and added a preferences 
option to choose between the new 
"spatial" behavior and the old explorer 
version of Nautilus. 

"It's great because it's not spatial 
anymore." Now I've downloaded and 
installed the preview of Ubuntu 5.1, 
which includes the latest version of 
GNOME. I assume that GNOME still 
makes the "spatial" behavior of 
Nautilus the default behavior. I don't 
know. But Ubuntu makes Nautilus 
default to an explorer mode that works 
similarly to prior versions of Nautilus. 

This raises the question, if the "spatial" 
approach to file management was so 
terrific and simply misunderstood and 
underappreciated, why did the Ubuntu 
team decide not to use it by default? 

I'd applaud the change, but the new 
Nautilus explorer mode includes one of 
the most abominable features ever con- 
ceived, ostensibly "borrowed" from the 
hideous GNOME file picker. In one of the 
toolbars, you'll see a back arrow, after 
which buttons appear as you navigate 
through folders. Each button represents a 
folder, a subfolder, a sub-subfolder and 
so on, as a history of where you've been. 
If you go back one step, it keeps the 
extra button there, in case you want to 
go forward again. 

Why buttons are supposed to repre- 
sent folders is a mystery to me. But 
here's a bigger mystery. If you navigate 
deep enough, there's no room for all 
the buttons, so a scroller appears. A 
scroller for buttons? Now that's revolu- 
tionary. This is especially a problem 
with the file picker, where there's even 
less space for the buttons. Worse, I still 
haven't figured out why the back arrow 
I mentioned earlier creates two buttons 
called home and then changes into an 
icon that, if clicked, takes me to the 
top level of the entire filesystem. This 
is intuitive? 

Here's the point. GNOME defenders 
can rant all they want about how critics 
simply misunderstand it. The problem 
illustrated by the crazy history of Nautilus 
is that there's no "it" to misunderstand. 
If "it" is so great, why does "it" keep 
going through so many radical changes 
in philosophy? I have sympathy for long- 
time GNOME advocates because they've 
had to defend both the original designs 
and the contradictory overhauls as being 
the best approach. 

One more word about the changes 
in the latest version of GNOME. The 
new file picker (file open and file save) 
dialog now has a panel on the left 
where you can add bookmarks to fold- 
ers. This way, you can return to fre- 
quently used folders quickly. These 
bookmarks also show up in Nautilus — I 
assume for the sake of consistency. 
KDE has had a more attractive version 
of this feature for ages, except KDE lets 
you associate bookmarks with applica- 
tions. In other words, if I so choose, I 
can have one set of bookmarks appear 
when I use the word processor and 
another set appear when I use the 
spreadsheet. This way the application 
"knows" how I organize my files. 
Needless to say, you can't do that with 
GNOME bookmarks, so the file picker is 
destined to become cluttered with B 

bookmarks that point to folders, which 
don't relate to the current application. 
The good news is that the GNOME 
developers are beginning to see the 
benefits of including some of the KDE 
features. If this trend continues, 
GNOME can only improve. 

Okay, so now you know a few rea- 
sons why I don't like GNOME. I have 
many more reasons, but I'll spare the 
GNOME fans the agony of reading 
them. There are also many things about 
GNOME that I like. But they don't offset 
the bad things enough to make me 
want to use it. 


The amount of coverage we give to 
GNOME has nothing whatsoever to do 
with my opinion of GNOME, and our 
publishing history proves it. We focus 
on KDE more than we do GNOME, 
because our readers prefer KDE to 
GNOME three to one. But we do not 
ignore GNOME. 

By the way, this ratio was almost 
corrupted by ballot-box stuffing. 
Someone on the GNOME marketing 
mailing list noticed the TUX Readers' 
Choice Awards and said that they 
should notify their fans to go partici- 
pate in not only the TUX poll, but in all 
such polls. In other words, this was a 

call to rally the troops to stuff the ballot 
boxes in desktop polls. 

In the case of TUX, it was too late. 
The TUX polls were closed by the time 
this message made it to the GNOME 
marketing mailing list. By the way, I 
searched several KDE mailing lists, and 
saw no mention of the TUX Readers' 
Choice Awards. Regardless, this is the 
kind of activity that taints the results of 
any Readers' Choice Awards. If we see 
fans of any type of software rallying 
troops to vote in our polls, we will 
invalidate that poll. That would be a 
tragic day in our history, because 
Readers' Choice Awards are an impor- 
tant part of TUX. 

But here's what mystifies me most. 
Why do we get so many letters com- 
plaining about our obsession with KDE 
and lack of GNOME coverage? We cer- 
tainly do not cover only KDE software, as 
someone claimed. In fact, many, if not 
most of our articles deal with software 
that is not specific to GNOME or KDE. To 
name a few examples, we have pub- 
lished articles about Thunderbird,, Inkscape, GIMP, 
Cedega, IceWM and more. We have 
published articles about GNOME-specific 
software, such as Tomboy and, in this 
issue, gThumb and GnuCash. 

As for a lack of attention to GNOME, 

Mango Parfait, who loves to portray a 
hatred of GNOME that knows no 
bounds, has gone to great lengths to 
answer several questions about GNOME. 
So even where you'd least expect it, 
you'll find detailed coverage of GNOME. 
Think, folks. If she is not just having fun 
pushing the buttons of GNOME fans, 
and she truly detests GNOME, how is it 
that she knows GNOME well enough to 
answer questions about it? One might 
suspect she gets her answers from her 
boyfriend, Otaku, but she says he's a 
KDE fan, too. 

So, many of the people who com- 
plain that we are obsessed with KDE 
and never deal with GNOME, obviously 
aren't reading TUX. Has someone told 
GNOME fans and evangelists to spam 
us with these letters? I don't know. But 
if so, it's time to call off your dogs. TUX 
will become a GNOME-focused maga- 
zine the day GNOME users vastly out- 
number KDE users. So if you GNOME 
fans want more GNOME coverage, I 
suggest you improve GNOME first. Until 
then, we'll continue to publish accord- 
ing to the balance that we believe 
serves our readers best.a 

TUX Editor in Chief Nicholas Petreley is an author, 
consultant, programmer, award-winning columnist 
and Linux analyst for Evans Data Corp. 7 


Yay Linspire! 

Thank you for printing my Letter to the Editor in 
the September 2005 issue. I just wanted to follow 
up and report that I have indeed installed Linspire 
5.0! I also have their CNR service and all I can say 
is, WOW! This is the absolute cutting edge of 
computing! Someday, all OSes will be delivering 
software this way. But with Linspire, you have it 
today and it is flawless! Linspire really is the easi- 
est desktop Linux in the world! Thanks again for 
pointing the way. 

Mark Szorady 

Tools for Basic Programming? 

First of all I have to say that TUX is one of the best 
Linux magazines. It's written by Linux users for 
Linux users. Good job. In the Letters section 
[September 2005], I found a letter written by 
Alan, who asked about Basic Programming under 
Linux. Well, there are tools available. Just see 
these pages to get a better overview: GAMBAS 
(, which offers now a 
private Linux version for free. 


More on Terminal Commands 

I would like to echo the comments of Sydney Nash 
in September's TUX Letters section. Specifically, the 
"50 Commands Every Linux User Ought To Know" 

suggestion. I was recently cleaning out a bag of 
"goodies" I got at the last FOSE show here in DC 
when I came across a Ubuntu CD. I was reluctant 
at first, but decided to load the OS on a laptop I 
barely used (just in case I really messed it up). That 
was less than a month ago and now that laptop is 
my most-used computer. 

I have made many mistakes along the way, but 
resources such as TUX and Ubuntu's Web Forums 
have been immensely helpful. I do think many 
new users would benefit from an article outlining 
useful terminal commands. Let's face it, most 
users learn new things about their computers sim- 
ply by playing, and without proper direction that 
playing could be damaging. I thought your maga- 
zine is about teaching new Linux users how to 
operate in this new environment, not just about 
teaching them how to point and click, we already 
know how to do that. 

Matthew Anthony 

Boo KDE 

I want to write to thank you for the excellent arti- 
cle in the September 2005 issue [John Knight's 
"The World Beyond KDE and GNOME"]. I am 
gratified to see you doing some articles about 
lightweight desktops. Frankly, I am bored with the 
KDE love-fest at your publication. For all of you 
noobs out there, don't listen. KDE is excessive 
eye-candy goop. GNOME is better. Well, okay, it 

would be better if spacial Nautilus wasn't so com- 
pletely awful. I mean, it really does suck doesn't it? 
Sigh. And your excuse of "we cover more KDE 
because most people use it" is extremely lame. Just 
do a Windoze magazine then — 95% of PC users 
use it right? Therefore it must be better, right? 

Okay, back to the reason I'm writing. I'd love to 
see a TUX article about Fluxbox. It is the best 
lightweight WM out there, and when paired with 
the Rox Filer, it really is an awesome desktop. I'll 
use it with about 80% GTK apps and 20% KDE 
apps and just giggle at the KDE vs. GNOME fight. 
Oh wait, wasn't I just ranting about that? Oops. 



I've been most impressed by your magazine over 
the last few months since I discovered it. It's a real 
breath of fresh air, and it fulfills the long-neglected 
purpose of helping Linux users (old and new alike) 
get the best out of their systems, without all the 
techno-geek-speak that tends to bog down other 
publications in the field. I've been using Linux for 
a few years now, but I still discover new things 
from your mag. I particularly like the articles with 
the tips on how to use different applications. 
When all is said and done, what average users 
want to do is sit down and get the most out of 
their apps — whether it's an office suite, image edi- 
tor or audio and video tools, etc. You've men- B 

tioned in recent editions that you intend to move 
the production of TUX to using Scribus. I've tin- 
kered with Scribus and think it is a marvelous 
desktop publishing application, though perhaps 
not as rich as Adobe InDesign. I would really like 
to see an article or two on how to do things in 
Scribus. Perhaps you could use the design of your 
own magazine as a demonstration. Keep up the 
good work. 

Lloyd Brady 

Is Mango a Woman? 

Here are answers to some of the questions posed 
in your magazine last month, with some questions 
of my own mixed in: 

My favorite Linux OS so far is PCLinuxOS, but I'm 
about to try Linspire 5.0, which as you know is 
free to download till September 6. Who knows, I 
may subscribe to the updates. We'll see. 

Is Mango Parfait really a woman? How about a 
real photo to prove it? It's unbelievable that a 
beautiful woman is this much of a Linux expert. 

Did I say unbelievable, I meant f in' unbelievable, 

which is more in "her" style of speech. 

I used to prefer GNOME because it worked better in 
the older Mandrake version I used to use. SUSE was 
okay in KDE. I think KDE has improved, because 
now I like it well enough that I see no reason to go 
back to GNOME anymore (in PCLinuxOS). 

I always read TUX cover to cover, is there any other 
way? I like the landscape format. It reads very well 
on my laptop! I always learn new things reading 
your magazine. 

I'm not a newbie anymore, but I don't always go to 
the command line if the GUI tool is convenient. My 
way is whatever is easiest and fastest, so it depends. 

Firefox, Gmail (or Kontact) depending on where I 
read my e-mail. 

Please do show us how to install two or three 
Linux OSes on the same system; include WinXP 
Pro as the Windows version, which is also on the 
multiboot system. 

Thanks for asking. I really like your magazine. 
Keep up the good work and the continual 
improvements, issue to issue. 

Emil J. Wisekal 

It is rather chauvinistic to suggest that a beautiful 
woman cannot know as much or more about 
Linux than a man. Having said that Mango has 
two things going for her First, she was hand- 
picked by publisher Phil Hughes, and Phil knows 
what he's doing. Second, Mango admits that she 
sometimes solicits help from her on-and-off- 
boyfriend Otaku. How much help she needs is 
anyone's guess. We don't care as long as she 
keeps getting it right. Regardless, if you read her 

first column, you'd know that she is willing to kick 
the keister of anyone who suggests she doesn't 
know Linux because she's a girl. So I'd watch out 
if I were you. — Ed. 

More on REALbasic 

In response to the September 2005 Letter "Don't 
Be Afraid of the Terminal Window", I've found 
that using 
is a VERY informative tutorial on most things 
terminal (sorry, no pun intended). As well as the 
oh-so-simple man pages. And for the real brave, 
man bash will give you a world of information. 
And, regarding the "Basic Programming?" letter, 
there is an AWESOME (IMO) IDE/compiler called 
RealBASIC (free Linux version, retail version makes 
cross-platform executables), which are totally free 
for Linux use and tries very hard to be source- 
compatible with Visual Basic. 


Incidentally, a new version of REALbasic, 
REALbasic 2005 for Linux, became available on 
September 13. Check out the details at — Ed. 

Boo Mango 

I love your magazine; it has been instrumental in 
my changeover from Windows over the last year, 
and it is a service to the Linux community. But I 
must join the never-ending horde who protest 
against the ramblings of Mango Parfait. 3 

Her tirade over the GNOME desktop at the start 
of the last issue is downright offensive! Is it really 
necessary to make references of wiping one's 
backside in order to present her childish opinion 
on whether KDE is better than GNOME? What's 
more, she then goes on to tell a guy that if her 
instructions aren't exact to his operating system, 
he should upgrade his OS, and on a completely 
unrelated note, change to KDE just to suit her. 

She continues this trend by telling another guy how 
terrible Fedora is for installing programs, and tells 
him to get an entirely new package manager, taking 
another dig at GNOME in the process. She mentions 
the default system as an afterthought or "the worst 
way", which, given the arduous set of instructions 
above, also seems to be the simplest way. 

Though I find her humor unfunny, I can deal with it, 
as it's a matter of personal taste. Dealing with more 
than one widow manager is unrealistic, and I realise 
that by choosing KDE, you are catering to the widest 
possible audience. But this kind of childish behavior is 
a sea anchor on your publication, dragging down the 
quality of the entire piece. The Linux community is 
seen by outsiders as a bunch of socially inept geeks, 
and this kind of attitude toward different opinions 
encourages that belief. 


You may find her humor unfunny, but at least you 
recognize some of it as humor. Do you honestly 
believe Mango was realistically suggesting that 

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the reader upgrade to make her life easier? 
Lighten up. — Ed. 

Calc Can Do It 

In the last issue of TUX, Mr Simms, in his letter, 
claims that it is not possible to depict multiple xy 
data sets on a single graph using 
Calc. Quote, "For example, in Calc 
there is an open issue to include multiple x ranges 
in a single plot. In other words, a way to plot dif- 
ferent x,y sets of 
data on the same 
plot that Excel 
allows currently, and 
has for a while, but 
Calc doesn't." 

This is incorrect. 
The attached 
spreadsheet (sorry 
a bit scrappy) 
shows how this is 
done using 
1.1.4 Calc. You 
just have to com- 
bine the x data 
into a single column 
and enter the y 
data in separate 
columns. It may 
not be quite as 

easy to set up as in Excel, but visually the end 
result is indistinguishable from the Excel version. 

I migrated to Linux about six months ago, after 
using M$ products for some 25 years. At the 
moment, I can't see any real need to go back. 
Great Mag — it's helped me a lot already. Keep up 
the good work. 

Andy Carter 


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In the last issue, you make much of the GNOME- 
vs-KDE debate. In your own words, you refer to 
"The number of Linux developers using KDE is 
increasing. The number of Linux developers using 
GNOME is shrinking." Developers? I thought TUX 
was a magazine for people that were new to 
Linux — folks (like myself) who can't write code for 
a hill o' beans but want a desktop environment 
that looks good, doesn't get in the way and lets 
us do what we want to do. 

I've tried, really, I have — I currently have SUSE 9.3 
Professional installed along with Ubuntu (and 
Windows XP Pro, but that's another story), and 
I've installed several other KDE-based distros (such 
as PCLinuxOS), but I just don't get it. KDE contin- 
ues to be too "busy", a little too frenetic for my 
tastes — and it's just plain ugly (IMHO). Perhaps the 
4.0 release will address these issues — I hope so. 

The good news is that Linux does not lock us in to 
a single, set desktop, a la MS Windows. Choice, 
after all, is one of the major causes of the open 
software revolution. Let's hope it continues! As I 
hope this magazine continues. 

PS. I find the Mango Parfait column shrill, annoy- 
ing and way too full of attitude — but, again, it's a 
matter of choice. 

Mark W. Tomlinson 

The point was that if developers are favoring KDE, 
how much more are normal users? That was just 
speculation until we got the answer from our 
Readers' Choice poll. Our readers favor KDE by a 
3-to-1 margin. — Ed. 

Thanks TUX 

I started using Linux about eight months ago. I 
had a relapse for two months and went back. My 
friend started me out with Slackware (very stable). 
I used it just for an experiment, but now it's all I 
use. I have tried others and don't care for them. 
The so-called hard distros are not bad if you have 
a Linux friend and an account on I just wanted to thank you for 
writing such a great magazine. I stumbled upon it 
just before issue #1, and it's very nice. It's just 
what it's intended to be, and I love it. I would love 
to have a printed issue to carry and show off (my 
printer isn't going to shell out 60 pages and have 
no ink every month!), but the free version is 
extremely cool. I will soon be doing my second 
person-to-Linux conversion, and I can successfully 
do it with such an awesome magazine. 


More Thunderbird Extensions 

About the article "Extending Thunderbird: the 
Best of All Worlds" [September 2005]— I like the 
article, but I think there are two very important 
extensions that should be mentioned that were 

not. These include Delete Junk Context Menu, 
which makes handling junk mail much less of a 
hassle (I don't know why they didn't include that 
as a default feature), and View Headers Toggle 
Button, which lets you view all header information 
in an e-mail with the touch of a button. Like it or 
not, all users of all operating systems should know 
how to read and interpret certain parts of an e- 
mail header as part of safe Internet usage. I've 
used this a few times already to provide adequate 
information to report abuse and phishing at well- 
known Web sites. 

About GNOME coverage — I understand the rea- 
sons that you cover KDE, and I don't argue with 
that. However, I would suggest at least some 
coverage of GNOME to expose new users to the 
alternatives. After all, isn't that the point of 
TUX, to expose new users to what is available 
to them? My own experience with learning how 
to use Linux included KDE and GNOME, and I 
personally prefer GNOME because of the 
smoother appearance and more feature-rich 
applications (granted my comparison was done 
about three years ago, and I just haven't had 
the desire to check out KDE since). Also, as 
time goes by, we may see a convergence of 
how these two desktops work as they continue 
to comply with the OpenDesktop initiative. 
Keep up the good work with the magazine! 

James Payne 11 

Networking Suggestion 

I have just received my first edition of TUX and am 
just writing to say that you blokes (and blokettes) 
are Number 1. Excellent layout, presentation, con- 
tent and "feel". In short — I'm in! 

I am an intermediate (mad scientist) user on 
Windows and am making my first foray into Linux 
(currently Ubuntu because everything worked out 
of the box), and I am about to try Vector Linux. I 
have tried Mandrake 10 but found some teething 
problems (probably my fault). An article on how 
new users may add all those beautiful transparent 
windows and widgets would be only too welcome. 

Many new Linux users will be changing from 
Windows (or are trying) and will have at least two 
or three computers networked (wireless seems 
huge at the moment), so I'm wondering if an arti- 
cle on simple network setup, just to connect the 
PCs together, might also be a good read? 


Yes, We're Mind-Readers 

You must be reading my mind! Thank you so 
much for starting some articles about Inkscape. I 
have just installed it on my Mandriva box and am 
looking forward to learning how to use it. Some 
GIMP tutorials would be great too. I also have 
Inkscape on my Windows machine. Are there any 
differences between the two program versions? 

C. Dempsey 

As for the differences between versions of 
Inkscape, you'll have to ask the Inkscape develop- 
ers! We don't do Windows. — Ed. 

Not Just for Newbies 

You say that you aim at beginners, but as a Linux 
user for ten years, I enjoy your magazine a lot! 
There are tons of wonderful programs out there 
and due to the nature of open source (no market- 
ing budgets!) very few people know about them. 
You not only publish a great magazine but also 
make a big contribution to free software. 


Kubuntu and Ubuntu 

I wish to contradict a little bit of what you said in 
your Editorial in the August 2005 issue of TUX 
magazine. Maybe not so much a contradiction, but 
a difference in experience with Ubuntu/Kubuntu. 

First, given the purpose behind TUX magazine (that 
is, serving the interests of Linux beginners), I would 
not suggest using Kubuntu yet. I recently tried it out 
and was very frustrated with numerous issues, which 
are admittedly problems with the fact that Kubuntu 
is really in the development stage. If you go to their 
forums you will see a plethora of complaints, the 
reply to which is generally, "well, it's not ready yet." 

Fortunately, it was quite easy to turn Kubuntu 
into Ubuntu, so I didn't have to reinstall. 

When I first installed Ubuntu, it was at version 4.1, I 

believe. Being unfamiliar with GNOME and having 
problems configuring it to do what I wanted, I gave 
up on it. But again, instead of reinstalling my favorite 
distro Debian, I turned Ubuntu into Debian. You are 
probably right that this is not advisable for the begin- 
ner. As I recall the solution really lay in removing 
many packages and then installing the proper 
Debian ones. And everything worked the way I 
wanted it to. Anyhow, it was, at least on the 4.1 ver- 
sion, rather easy to Debianize an Ubuntu installation. 

As for 5.x version, I can't say for sure how easy it 
would be Debianize it, but I have the feeling the 
solution would be similar. Contrary to what you 
say, after Ubuntu-izing (sic?) Kubuntu, I found 
that there were a number of packages that I 
wanted that weren't available. So, I just went to and 
grabbed the package from unstable or stable. And 
then I installed it with dpkg - i . So I am not at all 
sure why you say that you can't use "pure Debian 
software". I've been doing it all along. 

Finally, I want to say that it turns out there is a 
more-Ubuntu way of getting packages installed 
that aren't available when you do the default 
install. You have to edit sources. list and add: 

deb hoary universe 
deb-src hoary universe 

Apparently, there is also a way to do this through 
the Synaptic Package Manager by choosing "uni- 
verse" from the repositories section. But I never 15 

use Synaptic, so I wouldn't really know for certain. 

As a final note: for beginner users, Fedora Core may 
be a good solution. However, I find pretty much all 
my colleagues are abandoning Red Hat. No one 
seems to like the steps Red Hat is taking with respect 
to Linux and prefer something more stable (not in 
terms of uptime, but in terms of maintaining a Linux 
directory structure, and so forth). So, I personally tell 
people to stay away from Fedora Core. Also, as far 
as I'm aware (and maybe I am very wrong), but 
upgrading across versions of Fedora Core is not as 
easy or pretty as updating across versions of Debian 
(including Ubuntu). Therefore, I always suggest 
Debian-based versions. Of course, as I have admit- 
ted, Debian is my favorite distro, and so I am not 
impartial and I am not so familiar with Red Hat. 

PS. You guys are doing a great thing! I suggest 
your publication to all Linux colleagues and poten- 
tial users. Whether a novice or a guru, it is a good 
tool to know about and spread the revolution. 

Curtis Vaughan 

More GNOME vs. KDE 

I just polled our LUG and the responses I got were 
that five users use GNOME, one and a half use 
KDE and one uses Fluxbox. I don't question your 
source that says KDE is most popular, but it's just 
not been my experience, and whatever, TUX would 
be much better if it were more GNOME-friendly. 

My reading pile's too big, so I'm just working 
through issue 1 now (although the following issues 
are there queuing too). I'm sure I read somewhere 
that you wanted feedback on the magazine, so 
two things have come to mind. 

Firstly, I've a growing irritation that almost every 
article is KDE-based. I'm a new user (your market), 
so I've no real idea how interchangeable KDE and 
GNOME are, but I know I use GNOME. All the 
software so far has been KDE-based, and the only 
mention of GNOME I can remember so far was in 
the article about customising your desktop, which 
went along the lines of "there are two desktops, 
GNOME and KDE. In this article, we'll show you 
how to customise KDE." Useless, then, for me. Is 
this a question of balance, or can writers be asked 
to consider both, or does this simply reflect that 
most people use KDE? (I've no idea of their actual 
relative popularity). I used GNOME at uni, and 
then installed Red Hat 9 at home, and that's 
GNOME too, so we can't be that rare. 

The other thing isn't a complaint, it's just to note that 
I'm interested in sound — making music, production, 
synthesisers, that sort of thing and possibly video too, 
when you're considering subjects for future issues. 

Other than that, having got maybe three quarters 
through the first issue I've a long to-do list (get my 
music and photographs organised and so on), so 
in that respect it's a great success. Thanks for it. 


Try Puppy 

I read that another Dominican wrote to you in 
August, great! Seems like open source is getting 
bigger down here! 

I just completed the vote for best OS and other 
stuff — I chose PCLinuxOS, and I would have cho- 
sen Puppy Linux too if it was present, because I 
really enjoy it. As a matter of fact, I run both on 
my machines, PCLOS on the hard drive, and 
Puppy on live CD. 

I really recommend Puppy for older hardware. It 
works fast! And then you don't have to be a slave 
of the "hardware upgrade cycle", which is a 
major freedom in the computer world! 

For the desktop environment, I do really enjoy 
GNOME, but I chose KDE because it still feels 
more comfortable for me (I fix Windoze PCs for a 
living). But then, Puppy runs on fvwm95, and it's 
fine for me. 

I wish to thank you for your mag, which is 
great. I really read it, and enjoy the advice. 
You guys should cover PCLinuxOS and Puppy 
Linux; I am sure that it would interest a lot of 
folks. Actually, down here in the Dominican 
Republic, most of us are still stuck with older 
hardware, so it might help. Keep on going, 
you're doing great! 

Martin 13 

Thanks Again, TUX 

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I can't thank 
you enough for producing a Linux magazine 
geared towards new users. I have recently 
switched to Linux (PCLinuxOS) after growing more 
and more frustrated with spyware, virus infections 
and Microsoft proprietary practices. I consider 
myself an advanced Windows user, but I really 
needed something that would help me learn 
Linux, and your magazine is turning into a great 
tool for me. I know that it is free, but I would 
gladly pay for a print version. Yes, it would be 
worth every penny! 



I recently purchased Xandros' Deluxe version. It 
hasn't worked out for me. I thought I should write 
to say something about it. I'm composing this on 
a Windows e-mail client, because maintenance of 
the Xandros product has required so much of me 
that I've stopped using it. 

Xandros has positioned itself as a Windows 
replacement. This led me to expect a similar 
level of performance. I commend Xandros for 
trying, but the performance of their system is 
not to this level. 

Problems I have experienced come from two 
sources. The first is a lack of software perform- 
ance. As an example, the CD writing software 

crashes frequently. This brings me to the second 
problem, technical support. The Deluxe version 
comes with 60-days technical support via e-mail. I 
wrote the technical support department advising 
them of this problem. Following an exchange of 
e-mails over a period of weeks they advised me 
that they were closing the issue because they 
"could not duplicate the problem". 

I've had other difficulties as well, and I realized I 
was spending more time stewing over the things 
in Xandros that I could not get to work than I was 
using the system. I've returned to using Windows. 
And I'm sorry to report that. I think that the 
Xandros idea is a good one, but in this user's view 
it's not ready. 

David Danforth 

Xandros seems to be a Linspire wanna-be. 
Perhaps Xandros will be competitive with Linspire 
someday, right down to the CNR (dick-and-run) 
style of installing applications. But right now, I 
agree that it falls short. — Ed. 

XAMPP Really Works 

I'm responding to a Letter to the Editor from read- 
er Manish Parmar [August 2005]. Manish was 
looking for an easier way to install Apache, MySQL 
and PHP on a Mandrake distro. I have certainly 
spent a lot of hours trying to get the famous 
Apache-MySQL-PHP trio installed and all playing 
nicely together. I finally stumbled across XAMPP 

Their Web site states, "XAMPP is an easy-to- 
install Apache distribution containing MySQL, 
PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install 
and to use — just download, extract and start." 
And you know what? They are right — it just 
works, even for a relative newbie like me. 
Everything is configured to work together from 
the beginning, and it feels like you are just 
installing one package. BTW, I'm running 
Mandrake 10.1 . Thanks for a great magazine! 

Gina Bennett 

The Simple Things 

Request: I am only about five months into my 
Linux adventure and so far so good. What I would 
like to see are simple things, such as, how do we 
"map" a network drive? How do I connect to a 
shared printer on someone's XP Pro computer? 
How do I get my Linux workstation to use my 
DNS server, which is a Windows 2000 Server? 

My first goal of testing Linux at my office is to 
make sure I can do all those simple things first 
and then work on getting moved over to, Firefox and so on. 

Hope these are valid ideas. Love the magazine! 
About time someone pulled this type of 
magazine off! 

Brett Taylora 1H 


with Mango Parfait 

Mango solves a Windows share problem and breaks tradition by answering geek and browser questions and recommending 
PlayStation 2 games. MANGO PARFAIT 

I am perturbed. I like that word. I learned it recently and I am 
using it a lot. Perturbed. I am perturbed that my on-and-off 
boyfriend Otaku plays Everquest II when he should pay 
attention to me. 

I am perturbed because I read the last issue of TUX and 
see that the editor in chief thinks I have a pathological hatred 
of GNOME. 

I do not have a pathological hatred of GNOME. I like 
GNOME. I like how often GNOME developers change win- 
dow managers, desktop designs and user interface ideas. It 
is like that guy Forrest says. It is like a box of chocolates. 
You update GNOME and you never know what you are 
going to get. 

I like GNOME because I have no brain. I need GNOME 
developers to decide what I can and cannot do with my 
desktop. If GNOME made it easy to change the color of the 
window title bar and title bar text, I would probably make 
both colors white, and then I would not be able to read the 
title on my windows and that would make me perturbed. 

I like how Nautilus opens ten windows on the desktop at 
the same time if I look for a file in different places and 
those places are many folders deep. If someday I decide I do 
not like so many open windows when I look for a file, I can 

move all my folders up to the desktop. It is good to have to 
rearrange all your folders to make GNOME easier to use. 

I like how Nautilus remembers where I put these windows 
and how big they are. It would be hard for me to remember 
the last size and position I used for every folder. When I use 
KDE, I have to work hard to open so many folder windows. 
Then I have to write down the size and position of every 
folder window I open. When I visit that folder again, I have 
to check my list and resize and move the folder window 
to be the way it was the last time. It is important. I am 
perturbed that KDE does not remember these things auto- 
matically. I know you can set KDE to do this, but you can 
find out how only if you have a brain, and as I said, I do 
not have one. 

I like how much the GNOME interface is perturbed and 
not consistent. There is a saying, "Variety is the spice of 
life." GNOME is very spicy. I do not even know what kind of 
file load and save dialog will come up when I use GNOME 
applications. It doesn't matter. I do not know how to use 
most of them anyway. So I give up looking for the file and 
that saves me a lot of time I would spend working. 

I am not perturbed with this month's questions. You send 
good questions. Send me more. I like them. 15 

Ql have recently installed Fedora 4 on my Intel box as a 
dual-boot with Windows XP. I created a small vfat partition 
to share files between [Windows and Linux]. Both OSes boot and 
run fine, and the vfat partition is recognized and usable by both 
OSes, but there is an ownership issue under Linux. I cannot grant 
write permissions to folders or files within the vfat partition 
under Linux. As I do not want to work as root, this poses a prob- 
lem. I have tried creating folders with different permissions with- 
out success. Any suggestions? — Greg Falk 

A I have many suggestions. But I should not answer your 
question because it is a geeky question. TUX is for desk- 
top users, not geeks who know how to make many partitions. 
But I will answer your question because your name reminds 
me of Peter Falk. I like Peter Falk. I like the movie Princess 
Bride and Peter Falk is in Princess Bride. But I also watch many 
Columbo reruns. 

Now I will tell you my suggestions. My first suggestion is to 
play Xenosaga I and Xenosaga II. These are very good games for 
PlayStation 2. I am almost perfect as I am, but if I could choose 
to look like someone else, I would like to look like KOS-MOS in 
Xenosaga, especially Xenosaga II. In the first game, her hair is 
plain blue almost like my natural hair color. It is different in 
Xenosaga II. The light in her blue hair flows just like the water- 
fall in a picture we had at the oriental buffet where I used to 
work as a waitress. It is so pretty. I use Action Replay cheats for 
PlayStation 2 when I play Xenosaga //. My off-and-on boyfriend 
Otaku can play Xenosaga //without cheating. I do not pilot big 
robot fighting machines all day like Otaku does, so he plays bet- 
ter than I do. I need cheats. 

My second suggestion is to get rid of Windows. You do not 
need to worry about how to share a partition if you do not have 
two operating systems. Delete the stinky one if you have to 

delete one of them. 

My third suggestion is to treat yourself to ice cream (my 
favorite flavor is mango — I am sure you would not guess that), 
because you do the right thing. You do not want to run Linux as 
root. You want to run Linux as a normal user. 

My fourth suggestion is to set up your vfat partition in a dif- 
ferent way. Before I tell you how, I want to ask what does vfat 
stand for? Very Fat? I like the term Fat32 instead. Fat32 sounds 
like the name of a rap group. "Gonna get down make it funky, 
gonna paint my crib blue, gonna rap with all my homies 'cause 
we're Fat32." 

Okay, you are probably getting mad at me by now, but I do 
this on purpose because you asked a geeky question. But I will 
finally give you the real answer. The answer is fstab. Make a 
new line in your /etc/fstab file or change the line you have. 

Here is something like what you probably have in your fstab 
file now. I cannot give you a perfect example. I do not know 
what partition you are using. I do not know what mount point 
you are using. So I made up the partition /dev/hdb2 and made 
up the mount point /shared. You use the vfat partition you 
made instead of /dev/hdb2 and use whatever mount point you 
want. Here is my example: 

/dev/hdb2 /shared vfat defaults 

Here is an example of what you should have in your 
/etc/fstab file instead: 

/dev/hdb2 /shared vfat uid=greg,gid=greg 

I am making an assumption that your user name and 
group name are both called greg. Fedora Core 4 makes a 
new group for every user and calls the group the same name IB 

as the user. If your user name is greg, then your group is 
greg unless you changed it. Some other distributions make 
"users" the default group. If you (not you, Mr Falk, but you 
Mr and Ms Reader) have a distribution that makes the 
default group "users", then you want to put gid=users in 
place of gid=greg (or gid=user name). 

When you boot Linux, the shared vfat partition belongs to 
the user greg and group greg (or whatever user name and 
group you put in the /etc/fstab file). You can read and write to 
this partition without being root. 

But you probably cannot read and write to this partition if 
you log in as someone else. If you have many people who use 
this computer and you want them to be able to use this parti- 
tion, here is what the line should be more like: 

/dev/hdb2 /shared vfat noauto,user 

Now the partition is not mounted when you start Linux. A 
user has to mount it to use it. This makes the partition and all 
the files on the partition belong to the user who mounts it. She 
should just type mount /shared from a user prompt, not a root 
prompt. She should be polite and do umount /shared when she 
is finished so someone else can use it. 

Here is a better way. You can use the line that does not 
mount the partition automatically, then point and click to mount 
and unmount the partition. 

Go to the KDE Control Panel or the system settings window. 
Select Desktop^Behavior. Click the Device Icons tab. Check the 
box for Mounted Disk Volume and Unmounted Disk Volume. If 
they are already checked, then you are okay. Leave them 
checked. Do this for every user on the computer. 

The vfat partition will show up on your KDE desktop. It will 
probably look like a disk drive icon when a user logs in. Each 

user can right-click on the icon and select mount from the pop- 
up menu. She can also right-click on the icon and select 
unmount from the pop-up menu when she is done. You can 
also change the line in fstab to make the partition belong to a 
group that every user can access. How do you do this? It 
depends on the distribution, so I will stop now and hope you 
are happy with my suggestions. 

Ql tried out Opera on the suggestion of the awards person 
[see the "2005 TUX Readers' Choice Awards" in the 
September issue] because Firefox can slow down and even freeze 
(on Linux!!) my computer, especially with Flash. My problem is 
that I cannot get Opera to use Thunderbird (/usr/bin/thunderbird) 
no matter what I do! There is very little help on-line. Please 
help me! — Samuel James Sarette 

A Okay, I make two exceptions this month. First I answer 
Falk's geeky question. Now I will try to answer your 
question, even if it is a browser question and not a Linux 
desktop question. I hope it will help many Linux users, 
because Linux users use Firefox or some other browser 
instead of Internet Explorer. There are ways you can use 
Internet Explorer on Linux, but I do not recommend any 
of them. I think it is better to use Firefox, Mozilla, Opera 
or Konqueror. 

Opera comes with good documentation on how to do what 
you want to do. I forgive you for not finding it. It is not your 
fault. You won't find the documentation anywhere in the help 
files. I will show you where to find the best documentation 
while I show you how to make your settings work. 

Select Tools^Preferences from the main menu. Click on the 
Programs option on the left side of the dialog and then click the 
Advanced tab (Figure 1). Click on the combo box for Email 1 17 | 


^f =lfij/jl!t.thj 


€■■... : ii.; 



E-mail application 

[Ube specific t?-rnail client 


Ifusryhtn^hunrierhirri -Mmpnse^w 

[J Open in Ifirmirifll 

(.noose helper applications for other protocols 

I lisfrnry 

Protocol | Program 



U 13270 





Source viewer 




Figure 1. Opera 8.02 Preferences for External E-mail Client 

application. Change it to Use specific e-mail client. 

You should see a field open up. You can type something 
in that field. You ask, "What should I type?" That is a good 
question. This is when you start looking for documentation. 
If you want to waste time, try clicking on the help button. 
You will not find the answer. Click on Help^Opera Help 
from the main menu and look through the help files. You 
will not find the answer. If I am wrong, and Opera put the 
answer in the help files, Opera hid the answer or used 
invisible pixels. 

Here is how to read the Opera documentation about using 
another e-mail client. Point your mouse cursor over the field 
that appeared when you told Opera to use another e-mail 

client. Wait a while. If nothing happens, move the mouse cur- 
sor away and then try again. Someday you will get a tooltip 
that tells you how to use this field. I cannot find any other 
documentation about how to use this field except this tooltip, 
so I am guessing Opera puts all of its documentation in 
tooltips. Maybe they will add a "search tooltips" and "index 
of tooltips" feature someday. 

Enter the following line in the field that opens up: 

/usr/bin/thunderbi rd -compose %w 

Some distributions like Debian install Thunderbird as 
mozilla-thunderbird, not thunderbird. For those of you who 
are not using Fedora, if the line above does not work for 
you, try this one: 

/usr/bin/mozi lla-thunderbi rd -compose %w 

Ql'm using Windows 2000 and SUSE 9.3 Pro, and I want to 
share a folder where I have ripped my music collection. I 
set the properties in Windows to share the folder, and I have 
managed to access it under Linux; however, to access the folder I 
have to type smb://athlon-xp/Music, and then I'm greeted 
with a login prompt. Is there a way to avoid the login prompt, 
perhaps by saving the user name and password locally (or even a 
setting in Windows)? — Logan Johns 

A I am so sorry to read that you ripped your music collection. 
You do not give details about where and how it is ripped, 
so I cannot tell you how to mend it. Maybe use glue, maybe a 
tailor can help. I guess some of your music is still okay, because 
you want to share it. IS 

Configure - KDE Control Module 

Windows Shares 

This is the configuration for the samba client only, not the server. 
Default user name: 


Default password: 

MS Windows encoding: Iso 0059-1 

JO fctelp 

|v QK 1 1 ^ Apply I U Cancel 

Figure 2. Set a default user name and password for Windows/Samba shares. 

I can fix your other problem. Open 
the KDE Control Center. If you have a 
recent copy of KDE, you can click on 
the System icon instead and follow 
these same instructions by clicking on 
icons instead of lists. 

Click on Internet and Network (in the 
list on the left in the Control Center, or 
the icon if you have the System feature). 
Then click on Local Network Browsing. 
You can enter a default name and pass- 
word here (Figure 2). 

Click Apply. If you are using the 
Control Center, you can close it now. If 
you are using the separate settings win- 
dow, click OK to close the window. 

Now when you open up a Windows or 
Samba share folder, it should open with- 

out asking you for a name and password. 
I do not have to tell you that this does 
not work if you have different names and 
passwords for different shares. Because I 
do not have to tell you, I do not know 
why I did. 

Ql am using Firefox as my browser, 
and somewhere along the line I 
seem to have turned off JavaScript. I 
have enabled the selection to run 
JavaScript but I still get problems with: 
A) Access to Home Banking — tells me I 
need JavaScript enabled. B) Getting some 
buttons on Web sites to direct me to 
other URLs. The browser just seems to sit 
there and do nothing. C) When I open my 
home page, it initially opens as a half 

screen with what appears to be some 
code appearing on the bottom stating: 

A Tooltiptext = "&n 

A label = "&flashgotoNoDMS 

Sometimes after a few seconds, the 
page fills completely and the code van- 
ishes (into the background???). 

This also happens on some other sites, 
and I have to resize the pane to full screen 
manually using the drag function on the 
top border. — Alan Nicholson 

A Okay, here is another browser ques- 
tion. I answered one, so I guess I 
will answer another. I hope it helps many 
Linux desktop users because many Linux 
desktop users use Firefox. 

It is possible that your copy of Firefox 
is broken or your Firefox settings are bro- 
ken. I do not think that is the problem. 
Maybe I am right, maybe I am wrong, 
and you need to erase your Firefox set- 
tings directory and start with new set- 
tings. I assume I am right. 

Say I am right. Really. Say, "Mango is 
right." It will not fix anything, but it 
makes me feel better if you say that. If I 
am right, first I will make a guess about 
the banking problem you marked "A)". 
Here is the hard way to find out why 13 






Web Features 




Web Features 

17 B 1 ock Pop up Wind ows 

17 Allow web sites to install software 

17 Load Images 

I - for the originating web site only 

|7 Enable Java 

17 F na bl p J ava £nri pt 

■ Allowed Sites 1 

■1 ;: 

Allowed Sites 





Figure 3. Blocked pop-ups can cause JavaScript problems. 

many pages do silly things like this. Write 
a fancy JavaScript thingy for a Web page 
and then make it work for every version 
of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, 
Opera and Konqueror, at least. You will 
find out very fast why some Web sites tell 
you to turn on JavaScript when you know 
you have JavaScript on. 

If you want a fancy JavaScript thingy 
to work on many browsers, you must 
write your JavaScript to figure out what 
browser someone is using. It depends on 
how complicated your thingy is, but you 

might have to make little changes for 
every browser or even write separate 
JavaScript programs for different 
browsers — not only different browsers 
but different versions of browsers! Some 
banks and companies are lazy and they 
say, "Everyone uses Internet Explorer so 
we do not have to worry if this works on 
some other browser." You go to that 
page with Firefox and the page acts 
funny or tells you that you need to turn 
on JavaScript. I am guessing that is the 
answer to your first example. 

Now I will make a guess about your 
second problem, marked "B)". You say 
that some buttons should take you to 
another Web site, but they do not work 
for you. I think I can guess this problem 
too. Sometimes it is like I said before. The 
JavaScript program is stupid about all 
browsers except Internet Explorer. 

But sometimes the problem is not 
the JavaScript code. Open up the 
Preferences dialog for Firefox by clicking 
Edit^Preferences from the main menu. 
Click on the Web Features icon, and you 
will see something like Figure 3. Do you 
have the box for Block Popup Windows 
checked? That could be your problem. 
Many JavaScript links and buttons say 
they will take you to another place, but 
they really open up a pop-up window. 

Try this. Uncheck this feature and try 
the button again. You know you have 
found the problem if the link works. 

You do not have to allow all Web 
sites to block pop-up windows. You 
can see on the Preferences dialog an 
Allowed Sites button (see Figure 3 
again). Click this button and tell Firefox 
on which sites you want pop-ups to 
work. See my example in Figure 4. 

What if this is not your problem? 
Look at one more thing. Click on the 
Advanced... button for JavaScript in the 
Preferences dialog (see again Figure 3). 5D 

Allowed bite: 

D X 

You can specify which web sites are allowed to open popup 
windows. T>pe the exact address of the site you want to 
allow and t hern rlirk Allow. 

Address of web site: 


| Status 


Remove site Remove All sites 



Figure 4. Define sites where pop-ups are allowed. 

You will now see another dialog that 
looks like Figure 5. 

You need to decide what you want to 
permit JavaScript to do. I do not want to 
recommend any settings. Some settings 
let JavaScript do too much. Some settings 
stop the JavaScript from doing too much 
and make Web pages confused and work 
the wrong way. 

Now I will make a guess about your 
third problem, "C)". The moon. Sometimes 

Ldvanced JavaScript Options 

Allow scripts 



Move or resize existing win 



Raise or 

lower windows 



or replace context 



Hide the status bar 



status bar text 






Figure 5. Advanced Settings for JavaScript 

the moon makes Firefox do funny things. 
If it is not the moon, then it might be 
Firefox. It might be Firefox and your Flash 
plugin. Do you see the question and 
answer before yours? Firefox plus Flash 
plus Linux sometimes equals crazy like a 
Firefox. I have the same problem too on 
at least one distribution. After I use 
Firefox for a while, I try to load a new 
page and it never loads. At first I think my 
Internet connection broke. Then I try to 
load the same page in Opera or 
Konqueror and it loads in one second. 

I do not guarantee that the Flash plugin 
makes this problem appear. The problem 
started after I installed Flash. Maybe it is a 
coincidence. Maybe it is not. Try to update 

Flash and see if the problem 
goes away. Try to uninstall Flash 
and see if the problem goes 
away. I will do the same thing 
and maybe I will let you know 
if it solves my Firefox problem. 

If none of my advice works 
for you, try using Opera 8.02 
instead of Firefox. Opera is a 
very nice browser. It is free if 
you do not care that it shows 
ads at the top. [Opera 8.5 is 
now available for free, even 
without ads. — ED.] It even has 
great documentation, if you do not mind 
that the best documentation is hidden in 

If Opera is not your cup of green tea, 
try Konqueror. The bad thing about 
Konqueror is you may have more problems 
with Web pages than you do with Firefox, 
if the Web pages are written mainly for 
Internet Explorer. Sometimes you can fix 
this by changing how Konqueror identifies 
itself. But I am making too many guesses 
now, so I will stop here.a 

I am a sweet, humble, delicate and very cute genius 
who is at your service to answer your Linux questions. 
Send your questions to I 
am deeply sorry that I do not have time to respond to 
anyone directly by e-mail, but I will select as many 
questions as I can and answer them here. 51 


Digital Exhibitionism, Part II: gThumb 

A look at how to manage and fine-tune photos with gThumb. 


Last month, we took a look at performing 
simple editing and photo management tasks 
in KDE's Readers' Choice Award-winning digital 
photo management application, digiKam 
( This 
month, we look at how to perform similar tasks in 
gThumb, the image viewer and browser for the 
GNOME desktop ( 

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Figure 1. gThumb's Catalog View 

gThumb has three major view modes, activated 
by the first three buttons on the toolbar. The 
Folders view mode lets you browse through the 
filesystem and shows thumbnails of any images in 
the current folder in the right-hand pane. In this 

mode, you can perform basic copying, moving, 
renaming and deleting of folders. 

The Catalogs mode is similar to the Folders 
mode. It shows a listing of catalogs in the left-hand 
pane and the thumbnails of the images that belong 
to a selected catalog on the right. Deleting an 
image in this view does not delete it on disk; it sim- 
ply removes its association to that particular catalog. 

The Image mode can be entered into by click- 
ing on the Image toolbar button with an image 
selected or by double-clicking on any image, 
whether in Catalog or Folder mode. In this mode, 
you can see a larger view of your image and are 
able to perform various basic editing tasks. 


gThumb comes with a simple range of tools to 
touch up photographs. The one feature that is 
conspicuously absent is red-eye reduction, but it 
has most other basic image-tuning tools. If you 
plan to put images on the Web, you'll want to 
make use of the crop and resize tools. Cropping 
lets you select only the part of the image you 
want to keep and then discard the rest. This way, 
you can re-center the elements in a photo or 
remove unwanted background objects. 

To crop an image, go into the Image mode, 
and select Image^Crop from the menu bar. 
Select the aspect ratio you want to use from the 
drop-down box. In Figure 2, I'm selecting Display, 



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Figure 2. gThumb's Crop Dialog 

which is the same aspect ratio as on my screen or 
desktop. This makes the cropped image the per- 
fect shape for desktop wallpaper. Other choices 
are available, or you can select custom to resize 
the crop rectangle freely with your mouse. 

Use the mouse in the center of the crop area 
to position it, and drag the corners with your 
mouse to resize it. Once you're satisfied with your 
alterations, click Crop. 

My cropped image is now great desktop wall- 
paper, but it is a little large for posting on the 
Web. If you want to resize an image to make it 
smaller for e-mailing or posting on the Web, use 
the resize tool found in the Image^Resize menu. 

Type the new width you desire into the width 
box, and then press the Tab key to have the corre- 
sponding height filled in. When you're finished, 
click the Scale button. 

If you have a tendency to whip out the camera 
and start shooting, without realising you've left it on 
a preset completely inappropriate to the current light- 
ing conditions, you'll use the color balance tool often. 
The cute little guy in Figure 3 was snapped with the 
indoor preset left selected — I tend to do that a lot. 55 



y Preserve lyrmrwsity 

£Dn*aet t^ Preview j( Cancel 


Figure 3. gThumb's Colour Balance Dialog 

To correct the colour balance of an image, go to 
Image^Color Balance in the main menu. Figure 4 
shows this picture with a little more red and yellow 
and a little less cyan and blue. This gives the picture 
some warmth and makes it look more natural. 

Figure 4. Before and After Colour Correction 

The photograph shown in Figure 5 is my part- 
ner Bruce with his newborn cousin, Sam. I didn't 
want to use a flash and make Sam cry, so the 
people in the foreground have turned out quite 
dark in contrast to the bright sunlight through 
the window. gThumb has a brightness and con- 
trast tool we can use to tone down an over- 
bright picture or brighten up a dark one. 

The brightness and contrast tool can be found 
by clicking Image^Brightness-Contrast. When 
increasing brightness, try also to increase contrast 

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Figure 5. The Brightness and Contrast Tool 

slightly to retain natural-looking colours and avoid 
making the image look washed out. 


Although gThumb is equipped with basic 
image editing tools, its real strength is in its 
organisational abilities. 

You can sort images into catalogs and tag 
them with comments, date, place name and cate- 
gory. This meta-data then lets you use gThumb's 
powerful search tool to create dynamic catalogs. 

To add a comment, place name or date to an 
image, either right-click on the image and select 
Comment from the pop-up menu, or select the 
image by clicking on it once and then click the 
Comment button on the main toolbar when in the 
Folder or Catalog view mode. Enter the informa- 
tion you'd like to record about the image, and 
click Save. Comments and other information about 
images are stored in XML files in a .comments 
directory in the same directory as the photograph. 

To make sure that you always can find the 
photograph you want, gThumb lets you sort 
images into catalogs. To add a group of images to 
a catalog, select them with the mouse and then 
right-click on the selection. Choose Add to cata- 

comment: uaby ping plantation on Hat l op 





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Figure 6. The Comment Editor 

log..., and in the dialog that appears, either select 
an existing catalog or create a new one using the 
New button. Click OK. To see the new catalog 
you've created, go into the Catalog view mode by 
clicking the Catalog button on the toolbar. Images 
can belong to more than one catalog. 

To fine-tune the sorting of your images fur- 
ther, you can create categories with which to tag 
your images. To add an image to a category, click 
the Categories button on the toolbar with the 
image selected or right-click on an image and 
select Categories from the pop-up menu. Select 
either an already existing category or create a 
new one using the New button. You can assign 
multiple categories to any image. 

This all comes into play when using gThumb's 
extremely powerful dynamic search feature. To 
create a new search, click the Find button on the 53 


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Figure 7. The Search Dialog 

toolbar or select Find from the Edit menu. In 
Figure 7, I'm searching for all images that have 
the word Auckland in their comment, to try to 
find all the pictures taken on a recent holiday. 

Click Search, and gThumb shows you all of the 
images that match your criteria. You can cancel 
the search, further fine-tune it or choose to view 
the images it has found. It saves these images as a 
dynamic catalog. At any time, you can edit the 
search or run it again to gather any images that 
have been added that meet the criteria after you 
originally ran the search. 

Once you've assembled a collection of images 
you'd like to share with others, gThumb provides a 
simple tool to export them to the Web (Figure 9). 
Highlight a selection of images with your mouse, and 
choose Create A Web Album from the Tools menu. 
Tick Copy originals to destination, and then tick 
Resize if larger than: and select a size. If you have 

Figure 8. The Completed Search 

friends or family on slow Internet connections, you 
might like to make that size as low as 640x480 for 
smaller file sizes. Click Save to generate your gallery. 

One nice feature of gThumb's integration with 
GNOME is the ability to export catalogs to 
Nautilus' built-in CD-burning support. From the 
catalog mode, select Write to CD from the File 
menu. When the catalog is opened in Nautilus, 
click the Write contents to CD button. Type in a 
title for your CD in the Disc name box, and make 
sure it has selected the right burner device and a 
reasonable write speed (Figure 10). 

For more information about gThumb, check 
out its Web site at 
or its comprehensive help manual. ■ 

Jes Hall is a UNIX systems consultant 
and KDE developer from New 
Zealand. She's passionate about 
helping open-source software bring 
life-changing information and tools 
to those who would otherwise not 
have them. 


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Figure 9. The Web Album Creation Tool 

Figure 10. CD and DVD Burning with Nautilus 5H- 


KDE Everywhere You Go: 
Platform-Independent Personal 
Information Management 

How to make life easier by using your KDE-based PIM on different platforms. 


If you are like me, you like to use a computer to 
do as much work for you as is "machinely" 
possible. If you are like me, you also carry various 
devices with you that leverage all this work you've 
made your poor PC do on your behalf. This means 
carrying a PDA, memory stick or other gadgets 
that hold information. 

If this description fits you, you probably face 
the same situation that I do: accessing all of the 
information that you've so diligently entered in 
one place (like your Linux PC) in other places 
(for example, a Windows PC). 

Luckily, there is a solution to this problem 
for schedules, addresses and to-do lists. 
Developer Lutz Rogowski leads a team 
( that has taken two 
PIM applications from the KDE desktop — 
KOrganizer and KAddressbook — and made them 
platform-independent. These applications, known 
as KDE PIM-PI (KDE Personal Information 
Management-Platform-Independent), allow 
a user to use the same programs and data on 
Windows or Linux (even handheld Linux, such as 
the software run on the Sharp Zaurus PDA). This 

article introduces KOrganizer-Platform-lndependent 
(hereafter KO/Pi); a later article will introduce 
KAddressbook Platform-Independent (hereafter 

The site for the project, called Pi-Sync 
(, offers the software for 
download and installation on Windows XP, 
desktop Linux (specifically SUSE Linux 9.2) and 
the Sharp Zaurus — on the original Sharp ROM 
most all releases and the OpenZaurus ROM 
( for stable releases. 


On Linux, use your package management tool of 
choice (YaST, kpackage, Synaptic or whatever) to 
install the file KDE-Pim-Pi-X.X.XX-SuSE_9.2.i586.rpm 
(where X.X.XX is the version number). 

For those who run Debian-based distributions 
of Linux (such as Ubuntu/Kubuntu or Libranet), 
this page ( has 
an older but still functional version ready to 
install on these systems. 

To run, select KO/Pi from your distribution's K 
Menu, or press Alt-F2 and type kopi. 


On Windows, simply unzip the installation file 
(kdepim_2.1 .1 and 
extract the files anywhere you like. However, you 
also need to download the file, 
which contains some additional files that the pro- 
gram needs on the Windows platform. Unzip this 
file to the same folder as you did the previous ones. 
To run, go to the folder where you extracted all 
of the files, and double-click on kopi.exe to start 
the programs. They won't show up in the Start 
menu, because they don't use the usual Windows 
installer that would create shortcuts for them 
there (you can do so manually); likewise, they 
probably can't be started from the Run dialog, 
unless you use the Browse feature or installed 
them to the Program Files directory. In any case, it 
is easier to navigate to the folder where you 
extracted them and double-click to start. 


We begin by learning how to use KO/Pi for sched- 
ule and task management. On first start, a wizard 
prompts the user to enter information such as date 



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Figure 1. KO/Pi Day View 

preference (that is, month-first or date-first) and 
time zone. It is important to match these carefully 
to the date used by the machine you are using. If 
your machine uses Windows at all (either alone or 
in a dual-boot configuration), it is probably best to 
use Local Time. On the other hand, if you use Linux 
or other open-source OSes exclusively, these may 
set the hardware time of your machine to Grand 
Median Time (GMT); if this is the case, set the time 
to the time zone in which you reside. 

For those who have used KOrganizer, KO/Pi 
should look very familiar. It is almost identical in 
terms of views available, how the information is 
stored and most other aspects. For those who are not 
familiar with KOrganizer, Figure 1 shows the basic 
layout (Day View) of the program. 

[Note: You may notice that some of these 

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Figure 2. Upper Panels in KO/Pi 

Figure 3. Lower Calendar in KO/Pi 

screenshots look dif- 
ferent. That is 
because some were 
taken on a Windows 
PC, and some on a 

Linux PC. See — it really is platform-independent!] 
Click on the button that looks like a calendar 
with a week blocked out in blue; this opens the 
Week View (Figure 2). In this view, there are a 
number of different panels. The upper-left panel 
shows the Date Navigator, which lets you jump to 
any date quickly. The upper-center panel shows a 
list of tasks. The upper-right panel shows the cal- 
endars you have loaded (KO/Pi now has the ability 
to load multiple calendars — more on this in the 
next installment). The To-Do view and the loaded 
calendars can be hidden by clicking on the right- 

facing arrows. The loaded calendars can be 
removed altogether by selecting Toggle Resource 
View from the View menu; the Date Navigator 
can likewise be removed by selecting Toggle 
DateNavigator from that same menu. 

The bottom half shows your appointments and 
tasks for the week. Depending on whether the 
item has a specific due date or time associated, it 
appears above or below the date number. 
Appointments without any specific time (often 
called all-day events) are shown in the box above 
each date (as shown in Figure 3). To-dos that are 5B 


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Figure 4. Appointment Edit Dialog 

Local device name. WinXP 

New profile 

Done profile 

rielete prof ilft 


Local file 


Multiple Ftyno options 

Indude in multiple □ calendar 

□ addles book □ pwinanayyr 


Sync algo options 

Sf Ask for preferences before sync 

- LSync preferences — 

G Take local entry on conflict 
G Take remote entry on conflict 
Q Take newest entiy en conflict 
# Ask tor every entry on conflict 
O Force. Take local entry always 
O Foreu: Take remote enlry aJways 

due on a specific day, as well as any overdue tasks you might have, 
are shown in those boxes as well. Appointments at specific times 
are shown at the bottom, as you would expect in most calendaring 
programs. Tasks with deadlines are shown at their assigned times. In 
either location, a blue color means the task is pending, yellow indicates the 
task is due, red signifies overdue and green means completed. 

Let's begin by adding an appointment. The toolbar at the top has a button 
showing a calendar with a small yellow star on it — this is the New Event but- 
ton (you also can access it by going to Edit^New Event). Clicking this button 
brings up the Edit dialog (Figure 4). The fields in the first tab are self-explana- 
tory, allowing you to set the name of the event, the date, the time and 
whether you want an alarm. You also can organize your appointments by cat- 
egories; select one or more categories from the pull-down menu, or edit the 
Categories list by clicking the button and adding or removing them to your 
liking. When you're done, click OK to add the appointment to your calendar 
(or click OK+Agenda to take you directly to the day of the appointment). 



Figure 5. KO/Pi Sync Configuration Dialog (Top) 


Now that you've created an appointment, you'll want to have it available on 
all your KO/Pi installations. This process is called synchronization, and it's one 
of the key advantages of the KDE PIM-PI suite. You can set up this function 
using the Synchronize menu. Click on Synchronize^Configure to set up your 

The dialog box that pops up, shown in Figure 5, is a little confusing at 
first. The very top field is labeled Local Device Name. This is a label to 
identify your device — you can name it anything you like, as long as all of 
the devices have unique names. Under this are three buttons, New Profile, 
Clone Profile and Delete Profile. These refer to the Sync Profiles listed in 
the pull-down menu below the buttons. You can set up different profiles 57 


Profile kind 
® Local file 

O Pi- Sync ( direct Kx/Pi to Kx/Pi 


O Remote file (w down/upload 


O Mobile device (cell phone) 


Profile kind specific settings — 

Local file Cal: Local file ABook: 

Local file PWMgr: 





E :/te steal, ics 1 E:/testadd.vcf 

l p s/p wm an ag e r/l o calf i 1 e . p wm 

□ Addressbookfile (*.vcf) is used by KA/Pi 



Figure 6. KO/Pi Sync Configuration Dialog (Bottom) 

depending on where you are and what other 
device(s) you are trying to reach. For simplicity's 
sake, let's create a profile that synchronizes the 
event we just created with another, identical file 
on the machine you're using. Click New Profile, 
and the Profile Name field shows noName. You 
can change this to anything you like; let's use 
Local copy. Scrolling down, you'll see settings 
labeled Multiple Sync Options and Sync Algo 
Options (which contains subsections for Sync 
Preferences, Filter! Options and Write-back 
Options). You needn't change any of these, as 
the defaults are fine for our purposes here. 

What will concern you is the next section titled 
Profile Kind (Figure 6). There are four options: 
Local File, Pi-Sync, Remote File and Mobile Device. 

Leave this set to Local File, and go to the bottom 
of the dialog. The last section is titled Profile kind 
specific settings. There are three input boxes, 
which allow you to indicate the local file with 
which you want to synchronize KO/Pi, KA/Pi and 
PWMgr (this is a password manager application, 
which is not covered in this article). You can use 
the Choose button to call up a file selector and 
select a file, if you have one (KO/Pi uses iCalendar 
files, and KA/Pi uses vCard files). If you don't have 
any files, you can input a name, and the applica- 
tion creates one for you. 

After you are all done with this, click OK to 
record your settings. Now, if you click on the 
Synchronize menu, there should be an entry for the 
profile you just created. Clicking on the profile 

name starts the synchronization process. Soon you 
should see a dialog box detailing the changes that 
the application will make to either or both files (in 
this case, only the remote file, because the local file 
is the one to which we added the appointment). 
Click OK to confirm the changes, and you are fully 
synchronized! The good news is that the settings 
are shared between KO/Pi and KA/Pi. If you launch 
KA/Pi, the synchronization profile should already be 
set up for you. Simply begin adding or importing 
addresses, and you can sync at will! 

Now, you may ask why you would want to 
synchronize to another file on your own system. 
Instead of the hard drive, these files could be on a 
USB memory stick — you can take them to other 
places (such as work) and point the KO/Pi you 
installed there to synchronize with them. The files 
could belong to another program — for example, 
the upcoming Mozilla Calendar/Sunbird program 
also uses iCalendar files, as does iCal on Mac OS 
X (although the iCal files used by KO/Pi may be in 
a slightly different in format, and some elements 
may not be exactly the same). You can see the 
flexibility that KDE PIM-PI offers through its syn- 
chronization methods. 

In the next article, we will explore the Pi-Sync 
protocol and show how two machines with KDE 
PIM-PI can synchronize directly with each other. 
We'll also detail some ways of getting data you 
already have into KDE PIM-PI, so you don't have 
to enter it yourself. Finally, we'll discuss some 
strategies to make the most of the ability to use 
KDE PIM-PI on multiple platforms.a 

A. Creg Peters is a project manager at an international consult- 
ing firm. In his spare time, he works on fiction, practices kendo 
and fiddles incessantly with as many as four Linux machines in 
his home in Germantown, Maryland. 5S 

The first and only magazine for the new Linux user. Your digital subscription is absolutely free! 

Sign up toddy at 


Inkscape: the Elements of Design, Part I 

This follow-up series on Inkscape starts with a serious look at design definitions. 


The elements and principles of design are often 
used to teach the basics of general design to 
students. This article is the first in a series of 
three building on past TUX magazine articles 
about Inkscape, an open-source drawing pro- 
gram ( This series uses the 
elements and principles of design to help you 
construct compositions. 

This introductory piece is geared for all types 
of people, from beginners to professionals. It 
specifically discusses the elements of two- 
dimensional graphic design in order to teach 
you a basic design vocabulary. Next month's arti- 
cle will focus on the principles of design that 
use the elements you learn from this article. The 
third and final article will combine the elements 
and principles to help you create a composition 
that will be submitted to the Open Clip Art 
Library ( 


What then is design? In general language, it 
often infers an intent or a plan. More specifi- 
cally, in the arts, design often refers to graphic 
design, which is the art of arranging image and 
text to communicate a message. Wikipedia fur- 
thers this definition, stating that it is "applied 
in any media, such as print, digital media, 
motion pictures, animation, product decora- 

tion, packaging, and information signs". It is a 
practice that is traced back to the origin of the 
written word, yet only in the 19th century did 
it receive separate recognition. 

Commonly, graphic design is linked with 
commercial culture. However, there is nothing 
about design that is explicitly linked with 
commodity beyond the long history of use by 
businesses to advertise services and promote 
products more effectively. 

Regardless, to use design effectively, you must 
be clear about the message you want to commu- 
nicate. What is important to us is how to convey 
your intended message more precisely. However, 
in order to write, you must first learn vocabulary 
(the elements of design), which will enable you to 
construct sentences with grammar rules (the prin- 
ciples of design). Then, you can write articulate 
messages — what are known as compositions in 
graphic design. 


The elements of design are the basic graphical 
components used to create a larger design. 
Think of these elements as the smallest units of 
design that an artist combines and arranges in 
different ways to achieve a design goal. The 
common elements are point, line, form (shape), 
texture and color. 


A point is a single mark that is placed into a 
space. Multiple points can be used to achieve tex- 
ture. If grouped together, the human brain con- 
nects the cluster of points and draws invisible lines 
between the points in space. This effect, closure, 
is described later. 

First, start Inkscape on your computer. If you 
don't have a copy of Inkscape, point your Web 
browser to and down- 
load the proper package for your system — 
Windows, Mac OS X or Linux/UNIX. For further 
information, please see last month's article by 
Dmitry Kirsanov on getting up to speed with 

To draw points in Inkscape, select the ellipse 
tool (F5 key) from the left-hand vertical toolbar (or 
press F5, Figure 1). 

Figure 1. Ellipse Tool 

Then, click on your drawing area and hold 
the Shift key down while dragging toward the 
bottom right of the canvas. This allows you to 
create a small ellipse. Now, go to the menu and 3D 


Fill and Stroke (Shif 1+ Ctri+ F) 

J Fi 1 1 ) Stro ke paint \ Stro ke sty I e 

■ in::? o» 

Flat color 











Master opacity 


Figure 2. The Fill and Stroke Dialog 

select the menu Object^Fill and 
Stroke (Figure 2). 

Then, change to the selection tool 
(F1 key, Figure 3). 

Then, select the ellipse you just cre- 
ated on the canvas. Next, on the Fill 
and Stroke dialog, click the fill tab and 
select the flat color button and adjust 
the sliders so that the point is black. 
Then, select the stroke tab, select the 
flat color tab once more, and set the stroke to 

Figure 3. 

Figure 4. What's the Point? 

black. You now have a point like in Figure 4! 

The next step to understanding the point is to 
create a cluster of points — the fun part. Now, 
select the selection tool (Figure 3, F1 key), and 
while dragging the point, press the spacebar to 
make a quick duplicate of the shape in a different 
location. Make sure not to hold the spacebar 
down too long unless you want an unmanageable 
amount of copies of your point! Use this technique 
to make the outline of a star, or make a cluster of 
points in the corner as shown in Figure 4. 


A line is a mark with length and direction. It is cre- 
ated by a point that moves across a surface. A line 
can vary in length, width, direction, curvature and 
color. It can be two-dimensional, like a pencil line 
on paper, and also can imply three-dimensionality 
to create perspective. Lines can be grouped 
together to create a sense of 
value, density and texture. 

In Inkscape, select the 
bezier curve tool from the 
left-hand toolbar (Shift-F6, 
Figure 5). 

On the canvas, single-click 
your mouse. Then, move to 
another location and double- Figure 5. Bezier 
click, thus ending your line. Tool 

Next, single-click while holding down the Ctrl 
key. While pressing that key, move your mouse to 
the right keeping a straight horizontal line. Double- 
click to terminate the line. Then, use the technique 
learned above to make three quick duplicates 
below this newly created horizontal line. 

Select the first newly duplicated line with the 
selection tool and then select the stroke style tab 
on the Fill and Stroke dialog. Change the Width 
of the line to 3 points (pt), as shown in Figure 6. 

Fill and Stroke (Shif t+ Ctri+ F) 

(Fill ) Stro ke paint * m * % Stro ke sty I e 

Width: 3.000 

F* T 


Miter limit: 4.00 ^ 

«*\m A 


Dashes: * Q.QS Z 

Start Markers: None T 

Mid Markers: 

End Markers: 

H one 

H one 

Master opacity 


Figure 6. The Stroke Style Tab in the Fill and 
Stroke Dialog 31 



Changei D PoljgBn Camera: 5 C Spoke ratio: D-5D ; Rounded: 0.00 C Randomised: 0.000 C 

Figure 7. Different Types of Lines 

□ & 

Figure 8. Rectangle Tool Figure 9. Polygon Tool 

Select the line directly below this 3-pt line, and 
change its width to 6 points. Then, select the 
fourth line, change its width to 15 points, and in 
the fill and stroke dialog, change the dashes to 
the second option from the top in the pop-up list. 
You now have a large dashed line (Figure 7). 
Lines also can be curved and irregular. To 
make a curved line, click on the canvas once 
more with the bezier tool, and this time continue 
to hold the mouse button down and drag 
toward the bottom-right corner of the drawing 
area and let go. To terminate that line, double- 
click. This is a curved line. To make an irregular 
line, click once on the canvas and move your 
mouse to another location, click again, move to 
another location and then double-click your first 
mouse button to terminate the line. This makes a 
shape similar to the bottom-right corner image 
in Figure 7. 

Figure 10. The Auxiliary Toolbar 


The simplest definition of form, or shape, is a 
closed contour, an element defined by its perimeter 
This is a flat figure or shape that is created when 
actual or implied lines meet to surround a space. 
Often a change in color or shading helps to 
define a shape. There are generally geometric 
and organic shape types. Geometric shapes are 
constituted by the primary shape types — circle, 
rectangle and triangle — in addition to multi-sided 
polygons. Organic shapes have irregular outlines 
composed of straight and curved lines. 

Now that you have learned how to create irregu- 
lar lines, it is a simple matter of closing one of these 
lines to make it a closed shape. Use the bezier tool 
to construct a square by using the Ctrl key to con- 
strain the lines horizontally and vertically. When 
approaching the end of the fourth line that makes 
the square, let go of the Ctrl key and move your 
mouse over the small box that is now on top of your 
initial click. Once your mouse is in this box and it 
turns red, let go of your mouse. You have now creat- 
ed an approximate square, as shown in Figure 1 1 . 

As an aside, another way to create this same 
shape is to select the rectangle tool (F4 key, Figure 
8). Click once and then drag down and right to 
create a basic rectangular shape. 

Now, to create a geometric shape, select the 
polygon tool (* key, Figure 9). 

Click in the middle of your canvas, hold the Ctrl 
key and drag upward to create, by default, a five- 
pointed polygon, also called a star (Figure 11). If you 
would like to change the number of sides on your 

Figure 11. Three Example Shapes 

polygon, go to the auxiliary toolbar above the can- 
vas and change the number of corners with the up 
and down arrows next to the entry box (Figure 1 0). 

To create an organic shape, create another 
polygon and then go to the auxiliary toolbar 
(Figure 10) and change the number of corners to 
four and the Rounded value to 0.60. You have 
now created an organic shape (Figure 1 1). 


A texture is used to create the appearance of a sur- 
face, or the material that composes something. It is 
the way a surface feels — how it may look. Example 
descriptions of textures are rough, bumpy or smooth. 

In the point exercise, we created a cluster of 
points that approximated some type of surface. For 
this demonstration, let's use line segments to create 
the effect of texture. First, create a simple line. Then, 
quick-duplicate several times with the same distance 
between duplicates as demonstrated in Figure 13. 
Cover a large area of the canvas using this technique. 

Next, create a line that is perpendicular to the 
first line you created. Use the same procedure of 
quick-duplication to make a cross-hatched effect. 
This increases the density of the texture. 

If you want to increase the line's length and 35 


.■■ ,-" _..■■ ..■ 

Figure 13. Texturing Makes an Area 
Figure 12. Edit Tool Interesting 

Fill and Stroke (Shift i Ctrl i F) 

I Fill J Stroke paint *\ Stroke style 

•4 ? 

Linear gradient 


incarGradicnt 12084 

Duplicate Edit., 


Master opacity 

J l.unn 

j[+] Gradient editor [oj[j 


stcpl29B6 Z 

Add stop Delete stop 



Stop Color — 


CMYK Wheel 




M d 


L I 






& ^iM 1 

RGBA] 1 ffffOBff 

Figure 14. The Fill and Stroke 
Dialog Linear Gradient Selector 

Figure 15. The Gradient 

Figure 16. Finally, Color! 

keep its direction the same, change to the 
Edit tool (F2 key, Figure 12). 

Then, select one of the cloned lines, 
select an end point, hold the Alt and Ctrl 
keys, and drag the point upward or down- 
ward. The direction of the line is now con- 
strained. Using this technique, you can make 
a texture fill an irregular or organic shape 
(Figure 13). 


Color is the perceived character of a sur- 
face according to the wavelength of light 
it reflects. Color has three dimensions: 
hue, value and intensity. Hue is another 
word for color and is indicated by common 
names like red or blue. Value is variable 
from lightness (white) to darkness (black), 
and intensity is a color's brightness (chro- 
ma) or dullness (gray). 

Now, using the shape example, let's 
add some color. To begin, select the first 
rectangular shape and then go to the Fill 
and Stroke dialog and select the Fill tab. 
Make sure that the flat color button is 
depressed. Also, make sure the RGB tab is 
selected. Adjust the red, green and blue 
values to achieve a color like the first 
shape in Figure 16. 

Select the second shape, the star, and 
change its color to yellow. Then, select the 
Stroke paint tab in the Fill and Stroke dialog 
and select the flat color button once more. 
Now, change the stroke color to red. Also, 
increase the width of the line to 6 points like 
you did in the line section and make sure, in 
that same dialog, that the line is not dashed. 

Next, select the third object, the 

organic four-pronged object. Click the Fill 
tab in the Fill and Stroke dialog and select 
the linear gradient button to the right of 
the flat color button. Your selection now 
by default is a linear gradient that 
changes gradually from the last selected 
color (yellow) to no color. To change the 
gradient colors, click the Edit... button on 
the Fill and Stroke dialog (Figure 14), 
which pops up a Gradient Editor dialog 
(Figure 15). Change each stop to the col- 
ors you would like. For this exercise, try to 
match the colors in Figure 16. Then, 
make the stroke color of this object into a 
gradient matching Figure 16's stroke 
color. Make sure to change the stroke 
width to 6 points and make the line solid, 
not dashed. 


You have now successfully graduated basic 
design vocabulary school! In the next 
installment of the series, we will learn the 
basic grammar of design, the principles of 
design: balance, rhythm, proportion, domi- 
nance, unity and composition. ■ 

Jon Phillips 

( is an 
open-source developer, artist 
and scholar with 1 2+ years of 
experience building commu- 
nities and working within 
computing culture. He is cur- 
rently developing Inkscape, 
the Open Source Project the Open Clip Art Library 
(, teaches at San Francisco 
Art Institute ( and now works for 
Creative Commons ( 



Looking for something like Quicken on Linux? Here's how to use GnuCash to handle your finances. 


Managing personal finances becomes significantly 
more complicated as we age. We initially deal only 
with smaller amounts of pocket money and have 
very little accountability for what we do with it. By 
the time we enter the work force, our needs 
increase and we start having to pay for gas, rent, 
books and so on. Once we reach adulthood, the 
amount of transactions that we perform every day 
becomes too high to track simply with a spread- 
sheet. We want to track not only of our paychecks, 
but we also want to keep an eye on our taxes, 
retirement funds, home mortgages, lines of credit, 
credit cards — the list goes on. 

GnuCash is a finance management application 
that uses formal accounting principles to help you 
keep track of where your money comes from and 
where it goes. In turn, the data you maintain 
through GnuCash allows you to perform some 
thorough budgeting and lets you identify problem 
areas in how you currently manage your money. 


I don't know about you, but when I went to col- 
lege, I took accounting and could not stand it. All 
the concepts were boring and unnecessarily com- 
plicated. So I went on with my life and slowly for- 
got every single concept of accounting that was 
ever taught to me. 

I realized several years ago that personal 
finance applications, such as GnuCash, provide a 

way to track and manage my money, but I was 
intimidated by such applications shortly after 
starting them every time, mostly because of the 
dreaded accounting principles I had forgotten so 
long ago. 

I will say it flat out: the most exciting aspect 
of GnuCash from my perspective is its excellent 

GnuCash ships with documentation about 
each feature provided by the application, but it 
also includes a "Tutorial and Concepts Guide" 
that does an amazing job of explaining the 
concepts of accounting and also puts them in 
perspective. The tutorial helps you relate all the 
concepts to your everyday transactions and 

* w W & 

Figure 1 . Tutorial and Concepts Guide 

explains in a practical way how GnuCash 
approaches each problem. 

After spending a little while reading the tuto- 
rial and following along with the example sce- 
nario, I started looking at GnuCash in a different 
way. It took me a while to get used to the user 
interface of the application, but the tutorial 
always pointed me in the right direction when I 
started feeling frustrated. 


Last month in TUX, we spent some time looking 
at how our friend Adam used 
Calc to manage his budget. His financial spread- 
sheet allowed him to enter recurrent transactions, 
basic accounts and use customized formulas to 
determine what was happening to his money. 

The spreadsheet model is a good tool if you 
are looking for a high-level overview of the num- 
bers that matter to you today, but this model does 
not scale well. 

Our friend Adam realized that as well. As 
Junior accountant, Adam did not need to read the 
GnuCash tutorial to get up to speed on his 
accounting concepts, but he did spend some time 
reading it anyway just to see how these concepts 
applied to GnuCash. 


Adam recently decided to stop renting his current 3H- 


Figure 2. Adam 

apartment and purchase his first home. He needs 
to determine where his money is coming from, 
where it is spent and how much money he 
should consider spending per week to make his 
mortgage payments without having to sacrifice 
his lifestyle. 

Once he knows how much money he can 
afford to spend per week, Adam can start look- 
ing in his inbox and sign up for that perfect 
pre-approved mortgage at an incredible rate 
sent by an emerging bank that has nothing in 
mind but the well being of random e-mail 
users. Either that or he will decide to hunt for a 
real mortgage. 


In order to keep track of his money, Adam needs to create five general 
accounts under GnuCash. He launches GnuCash and completely skips the 
usual tip-of-the-day window as well as the first-time configuration druid that 
offers to create some base accounts for him. He then proceeds to create his 
main account containers: 

■ Liabilities: Adam needs to monitor his liabilities to keep track of what he 
owes. All types of debt are managed as liability accounts. 

■ Income: income accounts bring additional value to Adam's net worth. 
Every week, his paycheck increases the balance of his checking account 
(asset). This transaction originates from his main Income account. 

■ Expenses: Adam creates one sub-account under the Expenses account 
for each category of expense that he typically deals with. This includes 
his phone and utility bill, the taxes that come out of his salary, his rent 
and so on. 

■ Equity: equity accounts are used to track Adam's net worth. We create 
only one equity account at first and use it to track the original balances of 
other accounts. This is important, because you do not typically start using 
a financial application with zero money, income or debt. 

For each of these top-level accounts, GnuCash provides a matching type 
of account. It is important to set the type of account properly when you cre- 
ate a new account, because GnuCash uses this type to determine how the 
money should flow between accounts. 

Assets: the assets account allows Adam to keep track of what he owns. 
This includes cash, goods (cars, homes and high-value items), stocks, 
mutual funds and so forth. 

_/] Net Assets (CAD): CAD 0.00 Profits (CAD): CAD 0.00 


Account Name 


Account Summary 

|> Assets 
|> Liabilities 
[> Income 
|> Expenses 
[> Equity 

Transaction Report 

Cash Flow 

Commodity: |CAD (Canadian Dollar) 
Smallest Fraction: Use Commodity Value 


pAccount Type- 

— ii-Parent Account 



1 y New top level account 



|> Assets 


[> Liabilities 


[> Income 


[> Expenses 

Mutual Fund 

t> Equity 




Figure 3. Base Accounts 

Figure 4. Account Creation Dialog 



Adam now needs to enter his individual sub- 
accounts into these containers. This part is rela- 
tively easy; the only trick is to make sure you 
select the appropriate type of account for each 
new account you create. The GnuCash tutorial 
does a great job of describing the function and 
purpose of each type of account available to you. 

Under the Assets account, Adam creates the 
following sub-accounts: 

■ Checking (that is, Adam's checking account). 

■ Savings (Adam's saving account). 

■ Retirement contributions (Adam is Canadian, so 
he contributes monthly to his RRSP account for 
his retirement). 

Under the Liabilities account, Adam now needs 
to create the following sub-accounts: 

■ Line of Credit: Adam uses a low-interest per- 
sonal line of credit to benefit from lower inter- 
est rates on his credit purchases by paying his 
credit card immediately after each expense with 
his line of credit. 

■ MasterCard: Adam frequently uses this credit 
card for large purchases when he does not 
want to face instability on his checking 
account balance. 

Under the Income account, a simple Salary 
account is used to track Adam's only source 
of income. 

Under the Expenses account, Adam creates an 
expense account for his phone bill, long-distance 

_/] Net Assets (CAD): CAD 0.00 Profits (CAD): CAD 0.00 


Account Name 


Account Summary 


RRSP Contributions 
v Liabilities 

Transaction Report 

Cash Flow 

v Income 

v Expenses 

Cell Phone 





Long Distance 




v Equity 

Starting Balances 

Figure 5. Adam's Accounts 

plan, rent, income taxes, groceries, utilities, cell 
phone, Internet service, gas and a general enter- 
tainment account. 

The Equity account has only one sub-account 
called Opening Balances that is used to assign bal- 
ances to the newly created accounts. 


Now that Adam's base accounts are all in 
place, he can start using GnuCash to record 
individual transactions. The first transaction 

Adam wants to record is the 
opening balance for each of 
his accounts. 

Adam double-clicks on his 
Checking account, clicks on the 
first available transaction line to 
create a new transaction and 
enters Opening Balance as the 
description of the transaction. 
He then selects Equity:Opening 
Balances as the transfer account, 
and enters the amount of 100 in 
the deposit column. When 
Adam presses the Enter key or 
clicks the Enter button on the 
toolbar, his transaction is creat- 
ed. The balance of his checking 
account is automatically 
changed to 100, and so is his 
Equity:Opening Balances 
account, thus indicating Adam's 
current net worth is $100. 

Following this model, Adam 
creates transactions for each of 
his expenses. When creating an 
expense transaction (for exam- 
ple, Rent), Adam needs to use 
the withdrawal column for the amount of the 
transaction, as the money is actually being taken 
out of his checking account and transferred to 
his Rent expense account. 

Because bills typically are sent on the first 
day of the month and are due by the last day 
of the month, Adam makes the date of each of 
his recurrent expense transactions the first day 
of the next month, that way his current bal- 
ance is not affected by bills that have not yet 
been received. 3B 



|tftni?lcJy Pa.yLliyL _ t 

797.39 . . 


Fxpfinsps Tfhwrs 



r, s s e:z : RRS P Corrti i butiona 








1 1 1 53.65 

Figure 6. Adam's Salary Split Transaction 


Adam almost had a heart attack once he saw his 
balance forecast after entering all his expense 
transactions. He then realized that he had not yet 
created any transaction for his income. 

Adam's weekly salary entry is a little more 
complex than the other transactions he has just 
set up. 

Every week, Adam receives his paycheck. This 
paycheck is calculated by dividing his yearly salary 
by 52 (the number of weeks during the year), 
then income taxes are automatically paid to the 
government (roughly 30% of Adam's income) and 
Adam's retirement contributions to his RRSP 
account also are transferred automatically (roughly 
$20 per week). 

If you have followed my advice and read the 
GnuCash tutorial, you already should know how 
we are going to manage this complex transaction. 

GnuCash offers support for transaction con- 
tainers called splits. A split lets you create a group 
of transactions that are dependent on each other 
and the transaction group in general. 

Adam double-clicks on his Checking Account 
entry in his Assets account, clicks on an empty line 
to create a new transaction and clicks on the Split 
button in the register's toolbar. Immediately, some 
nested transaction lines appear, indicating 
GnuCash is ready to record the details of his 
transactions group. 

In the Description field, he enters the value 

Weekly Paycheck. Without even specifying a value 
for the transaction, Adam selects the first nested 
line, and without entering a description, he selects 
the lncome:Salary as the transfer account. 

Adam makes roughly $60,000 a year, so in the 
Withdrawal column for the new nested transac- 
tion, he enters 60000/52 and GnuCash automati- 
cally calculates Adam's gross weekly salary. 

Now, because he must deduct taxes, Adam 
selects the next nested transaction line, skips the 
description field again, selects the account 
Expenses: Income Taxes and enters 60000/52*. 33 
as the value under the deposit column to indicate 
this amount will be deposited from his checking 
account to his taxes account when the group of 
transactions is processed. 

Now, for the RRSP contributions, Adam simply 
has to create another nested transaction that 
deposits $20 to his RRSP account (an Assets 

Upon pressing Enter, Adam's split transaction is 
recorded and the register shows the balance of 
the transaction, which should hopefully be posi- 
tive; otherwise, Adam needs to move to a differ- 
ent country or find another job. 


Now that Adam has created a split transaction to 
record his next paycheck, he is wondering how he 
can avoid creating this transaction again every 
month. Fortunately for Adam, GnuCash supports 

transaction scheduling and recurrent transactions. 

Scheduling a transaction is pretty easy. All 
Adam needs to do is double-click on his Checking 
Account entry, select the transaction he wants to 
schedule and click on the Schedule button in the 
toolbar. An assistant shows up, prompting him for 
information pertaining to the schedule he wants 
to create. 

Adam selects Weekly for the frequency of the 
transaction, selects next Friday as the start date 
and Never Ends as the end data. Once he records 
the transaction, it is stored as a recurrent transac- 

This does not mean that GnuCash automatical- 
ly enters the next X transactions automatically for 
you in your register. Instead, scheduling a transac- 
tion works by having GnuCash check for sched- 
uled transactions at startup or during runtime and 
prompts you to create the transaction automati- 

Every Friday, GnuCash now prompts Adam to 
record his latest paycheck. Simply following the 
wizard instructions allows the transaction to be 
created automatically without any calculations 
required on Adam's side. 


At this point, Adam has entered enough informa- 
tion to generate reports that will show him what 
is happening to his hard-earned money. 
The first report Adam wants to see is the 37 


Cash Flow- 01/01/05 to 12/31/05 for 

Selected Accounts 

* Assets 

* Assets:Checking 

* Assets:RR5P Contributions 

* Assets:5avings 

Money into selected accounts comes from 

Equitv:Starting Balances CAD 1 00.00 

lncorne:Salarv CAD 769. 23 

Money In CAD 869.Z3 

Money out of selected accounts goes to 

Expenses:Gas CAD Z0.00 

Expenses:lnternet CAD 50.00 

ExpensesPhone CAD 40.00 

Expenses:Taxes CAD 194.41 

Money Out CAD 304.41 


Figure 7. Cash Flow Report 

CAD 564.82 

Account Summary report. He does this by clicking 
on the Reports menu entry and selecting the 
Account Summary entry from this menu. 

Once the report shows up, Adam can change 
the settings GnuCash used to generate that report 
by clicking the Options button. In the dialog that 
appears, Adam wants to select the last day of 
next month as the report's end date. He now is 
able to have an accurate forecast of his financial 
shape by next month, with all transactions being 
processed automatically and broken down as part 
of the report. 

Now that Adam has a high-level overview of 
his money's whereabouts, he wants to drill-down 

into the accounts and forecast on a per-transac- 
tion level. He creates a new Transaction Report 
and sets the end date as the last day of the fol- 
lowing month again and sees a breakdown of all 
the transactions that have occurred since the start 
date of the report and up to the last day of the 
following month. 

Adam's wife is not an accountant, and she 
could care less how individual transactions affect 
her bottom line. All she wants to know is how 
much money is coming in and how much is going 
out. Fortunately for Adam, the Cash Flow report 
allows him to do exactly that. 

You can discover the other reports provided by 
GnuCash as you go. I have had little success with 
most of the graph-based reports as they failed to 
display any kind of legend on both of my test 
configurations. You should be able to create and 
configure most reports with ease at this point. 


GnuCash provides a very large number of features 
that we did not have space to cover in one article. 
For example, the Reconcile feature allows the 
accountant to compare the recorded amount of 
each transaction with the amount found in the 
bank statement. This lets you track inaccuracies or 
lost money. Adam uses this feature at work for his 
corporate account needs, but he does not feel this 
feature is very important to him for managing his 
personal finances, so you can read up on this fea- 
ture in the GnuCash tutorial as it is also very well 

GnuCash also provides a Mortgage Payment 
wizard that lets you enter the attributes of your 
mortgage and have GnuCash come up with a 

payment schedule and also enter the scheduled 

This feature seemed to have issues dealing 
with weekly mortgage payments, so Adam decid- 
ed to rely on the mortgage schedule provided by 
his bank instead. 


GnuCash has been around for a long time, and it 
is available for every distribution I have ever heard 
of to date. Under Fedora/Red Hat, you should be 
able to type yum install gnucash. Similarly, on a 
Debian, Ubuntu or any other Debian variant, you 
should be able to type apt-get install gnucash 
to install the application. 

■ Under Gentoo Linux, type emerge gnucash. 

Under Mandrake/Mandriva, type urpmi 

For most other cases, you should be able to 
use the package manager shipped with your dis- 
tribution (SUSE and Novell Linux also ship with an 
automated package manager). If your distribution 
does not provide a package management system, 
you should be able to find a version of GnuCash 
on your distribution's mediae 

Xavier Spriet is a software architect 
at Netmon, Inc., in Windsor, Ontario. 
He is an avid reader and enjoys bik- 
ing and traveling. You can reach 
Xavier at 3S 


I've Got Peace Like an iRiver 

TUX walks you through how to set up an iRiver device on your Linux system. 


iRiver is a portable media player. It isn't quite 
accurate to call it an MP3 player, because iRiver is 
one of the few so-called MP3 players that sup- 
ports the OGG/Vorbis music format. When you 
add to that the awesome sound quality it pro- 
duces (with the included Sennheisser head- 
phones), it makes it a great choice for the Linux- 
using music lover. 

The only problem with iRiver is that it doesn't 
work out of the box with Linux, which shouldn't 
be much of a surprise really, as Linux is infamous 
for poor driver support. Fortunately, the problem 
is easy to solve. And in this article, I show you 
how to solve it. So let's start cracking! 


The first step is figuring out how you want your 
iRiver to behave. Don't know what I'm talking 
about, do you? Well, just follow my lead, it's not 
difficult at all. The firmware (software embedded 
in a hardware device) that came on your iRiver 
doesn't make it behave as a UMS (USB Mass 
Storage) device. If it did, you could use it as a nor- 
mal USB disk. But don't despair! It is possible to 
turn it into a USB disk by upgrading the firmware. 

It's up to you to decide whether you want to 
do this to your iRiver device. If you want to keep 
the firmware as it is, you'll have to connect your 
iRiver to your computer using special software. 
The up-side of this is that you won't have to 

upgrade the firmware that lets you view the radio 
station presets and view the remaining battery 
power from the computer. The serious down-side 
is that you won't be able to use it as a UMS 
device and thus will need the special software 
installed on every computer you want to use with 
your iRiver. Finally, you can't copy your MP3s from 
your iRiver to the computer's hard drive because 
of the official firmware's built-in restrictions. 

The alternative, again, is to change the (offi- 
cial) firmware to unofficial firmware. This changes 
your iRiver into a normal UMS device unhindered 
by copying restrictions, so you can carry around 
and use your iRiver with any computer that has a 
working USB port. The down-side is that you can- 
not use the custom iRiver software with your 
iRiver device anymore. 

I chose to switch to the UMS firmware. It is 
more useful to be able to see the battery meter 
and radio station presets on the device itself than 
to view them on a computer. Plus, it is nice to be 
able to use such a device as a disk. It makes it 
easier to use as a music device and makes the 
iRiver an all-purpose portable disk drive. 

If you decide to turn the iRiver into a UMS 
device, jump to the "Using UMS Firmware" sec- 
tion; otherwise, just continue reading. 


As mentioned, you can use your out-of-the-box 

iRiver pretty much exactly like you would if you 
were using the official iRiver software. 

What you need to connect iRiver to the com- 
puter is a working USB port and a package called 
libusb, or a package similarly named. Most distri- 
butions come with full USB support built-in nowa- 
days, so you probably don't have to worry about 
installing this package. 


ifp-line is a simple command-line application 
with which you can browse and manipulate files 
on your iRiver (upload, download and remove). 
It is capable of checking the battery, formatting 
and upgrading the firmware. But what's even 
better is that it can be used together with 
Midnight Commander to make the file manipu- 
lation a lot easier. And this is what we try to 
accomplish here. For those who desperately 
want to learn its command-line commands, the 
README is pretty straightforward. 

Install ifp-line. It should be available for your 
distribution as a package. If not, have a techie 
friend compile it for you. If you know how to 
compile programs, uncompress the tarball, change 
to the ifp source directory and run: 

# make; make install 

If you want to use ifp-line as a non-root user, 39 


you also should run the following command in 
the same directory: 

# ./ 

Now, we're set. You can test whether it works 
by simply plugging the iRiver in to a USB port, 
turning it on and running these commands: 

# ifp Is 

# ifp df 

The first command should show you which 
files and folders are on the root directory of your 
iRiver, and the second should tell you how much 
free space you still have on your iRiver (in bytes). 


There are some graphical applications available 
for iRiver. Since I'm a KDE user, I cover the 
installation and usage of the Qt-based ifpgui. 
GNOME users might be happy to hear there's 
also iFP-gnome (see Resources) — a GUI made for 
their favourite desktop. 

You should be able to find a package of ifpgui 
for your distribution, but if not, it is even simpler 
to compile than ifp-line. Tell a techie friend to 
uncompress the source code tarball, change into 
the ifpgui directory and run the command: 

$ . /build. sh 

It asks you for the root password once during 
the install to make the application usable by 
non-root users. 

3 ifp^gui 

[Application Options Help] menu bar 




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files on 
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FP Connected] information bar 





button area 

edit radio stations 

files on 
your iRiver 

Figure 1. The ifpgui Main Window 

As you can see in Figure 1, the interface is 
divided into four sections: the menu bar, the info 
bar, the button area and the main area. The 
main area is also divided into two parts. The left 

part shows the files on your computer, and the 
right part shows files on the iRiver. The buttons 
are self-explanatory. 

The first thing you might want to do is dive 4D 


directly into copying music to your iRiver. 
The interface is simple to understand, 
but if you would like to hear how to do 
it, here's how. Let's say you want to 
upload some rock albums and keep them 
separated from the rest. So, create a 
new directory using the right-click menu 
on the right (that is, iRiver) part of the 
main area, create a new folder and name 
it Rock. Enter that new folder you just 
created. Now, navigate to your favourite 
rock songs on your computer (left part of 
the main area), select them and press the 
Upload button. You also can upload the 
files simply by dragging and dropping 
them from the left area to the right — 
whatever suits you best. You can select 
multiple files if you hold down the Ctrl 
key while clicking on them. 

While you're at it, you might as well 
add your favourite radio station. Simply 
click on the radio button (it's the right- 
most button) and change the presets. 
Let's say you want to add a radio station 
called foo at the frequency 89.45MHz 
on the first preset. Double-click the 
Frequency field in the first row, and 
enter 89.45. You can even name it (it 
doesn't show on the iRiver though) by double-clicking the Station field 
and typing in foo. 

But, as already mentioned, this application isn't difficult to use at all, 
just play with it a bit and you'll understand it perfectly. Unfortunately, 
ifpgui is, at the time of this writing, still in the beta phase and gave me 
problems detecting the connection to the iRiver. It may work for you 
immediately by the time you read this. 

» « 

x , tf Set! -i y - i 

Station Frequency (Ml- 


RS 89.30 







































Done cancel j 

Figure 2. Edit Radio Frequency 


In my experience, iRiver becomes a lot easier to use when you transform it 
into a UMS device; it behaves just like a normal USB disk. 

It is fairly painless to update the firmware to the UMS version. Download 
the latest UMS firmware from the official iRiver home page, and unzip the 
file with the command: 

$ unzip <firmware filename, such as IFP-800T. HEX> 

If you prefer to use your KDE desktop, simply open the zip file by clicking 
on it. KDE opens the file as if it were another folder. Now drag the file to a 
convenient location, like the desktop, to unzip the file. 

If you're a command-line friendly person, run the following command to 
update the firmware: 

$ ifp firmupdate <firmware filename, such as IFP-800T. HEX> 

It's even easier if you use ifpgui. Click the upgrade firmware button, and 
select the .hex file you downloaded and unzipped to the desktop. 

After the upgrade has finished, simply turn your iRiver on again, and 
you can start using it after it is done reformatting itself. Some distribu- 
tions will detect the device automatically when you plug it in and turn it 
on. KDE will place an icon on the desktop for you. If your distribution 
doesn't work that way, put a link to it on your desktop yourself. Right- 
click on the desktop (while it's plugged in and turned on) and select 
Create New^Link to Device^Hard Disc Device. Be sure to point the 
device to the right device (usually /dev/sda) and change the icon and the 
name to what you like best. 

Now that you can access your iRiver from your desktop, you don't 
have to mount it manually every time — just plug the iRiver in, turn it on 
and click its icon. Now you can open another Konqueror, point it to your 
music collection and drag and drop your music files from there to your 
iRiver. But, don't forget to unmount before you unplug it! Because you 
have a device link on your desktop, that's as easy as right-clicking the 
icon and selecting Unmount. 41 


Script Manager - amaroK 

Scripts ^ 



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install Script 


Get More Scripts 




Q stop 

i fig u re 



□ Restart running scripts on application startup 

Figure 3. The amaroK Script Manager 


If you are using KDE 3.4, you can run Konqueror and enter medi a : / in the 
location field. Here's an even easier method: press Alt-F2. A dialog box 
appears. Type medi a : / in the edit field, and click the Run button. 

amaroK is a popular music player for KDE. amaroK users might like to 
upload their music directly from amaroK to their iRiver. Select Tools^Script 
Manager from the main menu, after which a dialog box should appear. Click 
on the Get More Scripts button. A new window should appear with a list of 
available scripts. Select the one called Transfer To Media Device and click on 
the Install button. Then click Close to close the script installation window. 

Now you need to configure this script. Select Tools^Script Manager 
from the main menu if you closed the Script Manager window. Select 


iRiver Official Home Page: 

ifp-line (Command-Line Application): 

ifpgui (Qt/KDE GUI): 

iFP-gnome (GTK/GNOME GUI): 

transfer_to_media_device amaroK Plugin: 

Rockbox (Alternative/Unofficial Firmware): from the Scripts list, and start the 
script by pressing the Start button. (Depending on the size of 
the scripts window, you may see only a portion of the name Click the Run button. Then, click 
the Configure button. Click on the Storage Media option on the 
left and select the iRiver device. If you have an older version of 
KDE, you can navigate to the mount point, usually /media/usbdisk. 

Now you can upload tracks directly by right-clicking the selected tracks 
and selecting Transfer to-^USB device. If you would like to have this amaroK 
script load itself every time you (re)start amaroK, tick the Start scripts on 
application startup box.a 

Matija Suklje is a 21 -year-old law student from Ljubljana, Slovenia, who 
has been interested in Linux and F(L)OSS since his early high-school days. 
You can contact him by e-mailing or from his 
new home page ( 45 


Playing Windows Games 
on Linux with Cedega 

How to use Cedega to play your Windows games on Linux. 


About a year ago, I realized that there was only 
one reason I still had Windows installed on any of 
my systems. I'm a gamer; I admit it. So for a very 
good reason, I just had to have Windows — or so I 
thought. A few months after my epiphany, I read 
all the hype about WineX, which later became 
Cedega. I've been using Cedega ever since, and I 
must say that it keeps up with what I want to do 
and then some. 

First off, it should be known that Cedega is not a 
complete Windows environment, or anything near 
it. It allows you to run Windows games on Linux. 

Second, I need to address the payment 
issue. Cedega costs $5 US a month with a 
three-month minimum, and to me, it was 
worth it to spend $15 to see if I could get 
away from Windows. As Linux users, we've 
been quite spoiled in that we get great soft- 
ware for free (as in beer). Although you can 
download the most current version of Cedega 
without paying for it, this version does not 
include the .dll files or licensed material (think 
copy protection) that you need to run games. 
Besides, it's worth paying a small fee to rid 
yourself of the anchor and not have to dual 

boot. Also, you get to influence the Cedega 
developers and voice what's important to you; 
the developers actually do listen to user requests. 

Cedega does not work with every game, so 
it is really important to make sure it's going to 
do what you need it to do. Your first stop 
should be, the 
games database for Cedega. This database 
shows the level of support for every game that 
someone has thought to test with Cedega. 
Check the database to see what the payability 
level (not the popularity level) is for the game 
you'd like to play. If the payability level is any- 
thing but a 4 or 5, it's not likely to act like it 
would on Windows. So if your favorite games 
all have lower payability levels, Cedega proba- 
bly isn't for you. There are some exceptions 
where a payability level is 3, but the game 
plays fine. Another thing to keep in mind is 
that older games might start to work on newer 
versions of Cedega, but if nobody tests it 
again, the payability level in the database 
won't be adjusted accordingly. 

The payability levels and their definitions 
are listed below. These definitions were hard to 

find, and I encountered many conflicting 
sources of information, but this should give 
you an idea of what they mean. You can safely 
assume that if the payability is a 4 or a 5, 
you'll be satisfied with how the game works in 
Cedega. However, you will find only the games 
officially supported by the TransGaming team 
at the URL 
index. php/Category:Supported. Here are the 
payability levels and their definitions: 

■ or N/A: Not rated. 

■ 1: Game does not install. 

■ 2: Game installs, but it does not play at all. 

■ 3: Game installs and plays, but it is limited in 

■ 4: Game installs and plays, but there are minor 

■ 5: Game acts exactly as it would on a Windows 
system. 43 


System Setup Stage 1 (Page 2 of S) 

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Check for Updates 
(you must have a live internet connection) 

\~ HTTP Pp 

Proxy Hostname 

Proxy Port 

Proxy Username 

Proxy Password 

^ Back 

^ Forward 


Figure 1 . First Step of the Point2Play Setup Wizard 

Once you've signed up, getting Cedega 
going is remarkably easy, especially since 

TransGaming has now written a program that 
does almost everything for you. This program is 

called Point2Play. You'll need to log in with 
your new account to download the appropriate 
software. Once you've logged in, click on the 
Downloads link. Read and decide whether you 
want to agree to accept the license. 

Once you've done that, you should have 
access to many different files. Download the 
most recent version of Point2Play. Download 
either an RPM, Debian Package or tarball 
depending on which type of file your system 
uses. My SUSE 9.3 system is RPM-based, so I 
chose to download the RPM. They also have 
packages that let more experienced users save 
download time. When in doubt, however, 
choose a full package. These include everything 
you need. 

Install the software you downloaded, and 
you should see a new icon appear in your K 
Menu or GNOME menu. If for some reason an 
icon doesn't show up on your particlar Linux 
distribution, you can start any program in KDE 
or GNOME by pressing Alt-F2. Enter the com- 
mand Point2Play, and press Enter. Once 
you've started Point2Play, it goes into its con- 
figuration wizard, which leads you through the 
setup process. Proceed through the introduc- 
tion by clicking Next, and you should see a 
screen like the one shown in Figure 1. 

Fill in your TransGamer account information 
so that Point2Play can download the actual 
Cedega system. If applicable, fill in your HTTP 
proxy information. If you don't know whether 
you use a proxy, you most likely don't. Click on 
forward. Point2Play will verify your account 
information. If it checks out okay, you should 


Hardware Information 

Memory (MB) 

Video Card 


Video RAM (MB) 

AGP Mem Available (MB) 

Driver Version 

Sound Card 

System Information 


System Setup Stage 2 (Page 3 of 5) 

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Figure 2. Second Step 

see the next screen, shown in Figure 2. 

This screen is largely for you to verify the information about your system. 
Click forward. Then you are presented with the next step of the installation, 

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Figure 3. Almost Done! 

which is Figure 3. 

In this step, Point2Play tests your system to ensure 
that you're ready to run Cedega. Click forward to 
begin the tests. You'll see some gears spinning on the 
screen, and your system also will play a few sounds. 
Even if your system fails the tests, Point2Play still lets 
you proceed. This is not always a bad thing. For 
instance, on my SUSE 9.3 system with a specific graph- 
ics card, the test for 3-D acceleration fails, even 
though 3-D acceleration works for me. The real test 
happens when you attempt to play Windows games. If 
you see a red box when the tests are done, don't be surprised if games 
don't run correctly. If this happens, you'll need either to consult the 
informal tech support forums at H5 


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or your local Linux geek to see why things 
aren't working. 

Finally, you should be presented with the 
screen in Figure 4. 

Once you click Finish, you should be pre- 
sented with the main Point2Play screen, shown 
in Figure 5. 

Now, to install your favorite Windows game, 
all you need to do is place the CD in the drive, 
and then click on the large Install button 
toward the top of the application. Proceed 

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Figure 5. Can't you taste the pending gaming frenzy? 

though the 
process as nor- 
mal, and you'll be rewarded with an icon for 
the game you just installed. It is rather creepy 
to see Windows confirmation messages pop- 
ping up in your favorite window manager for 
the first time, but the end result is terrific. 

If you're a gamer like I am, check out Cedega 
and enjoy your Windows games without having 
to run Windows. ■ 

Kevin is 22 years old and currently lives 
in Nicaragua with his cat Guapo. He is 
proud to use exclusively *nix systems, 
especially with regards to his job as a 
Software Engineer. He likes helping 
others learn what he has learned, 
whether it be computer knowledge, 
playing bagpipes or Spanish. HB 


Windows Gaming on Linux: Deus Ex 

How to get one of the best games ever to work on Linux. 


You can run some mainstream Windows games 
under WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator), a utility 
that runs Windows-based applications in a unique 
way. Instead of emulating Windows, which is a 
slow and clunky process, it takes a Windows com- 
mand from a program and uses a Linux command 
in place of it. This means that instead of emulat- 
ing a program, you are actually running it under 
your own Linux environment. This is a huge task, 
and as such, WINE is still unfinished software. 

New computer users beware — this article isn't 
designed for the PC novice, but instead for inter- 
mediate Windows gamers who are new to Linux. 
If the terms Direct3D, OpenGL, software rendering 
or 1600x1200 mean nothing to you, this isn't 
your article. But, if you're a Windows gamer 
who's comfortable with this terminology, read on. 
Because readers are clamoring for it, we're going 
to try to describe how to run different games 
decently under WINE as often as possible. This 
month, we're covering an all-time classic, Deus Ex. 


Once voted Best Game Ever by PC PowerPlay — 
and it still ranks in the top five — Deus Ex is a 
genre-busting piece with well-crafted gameplay 
and a rich storyline that still plays well several 
years later (not to be confused with its sequel: 
Invisible War). Set in the not-too-distant future, 
the player assumes the character of J.C. Denton, 

Figure 1. Megalomania aplenty with Deus Ex's killer plot. |M-7| 


Figure 2. The bleak future of America? A decapitated Statue of Liberty! 

an agent of UNATCO, a UN peace-keeping force. 
Fighting against a terrorist force and a virus that's 
sweeping the world, the game gets you comfort- 
able in your role until a point where the story 

thing you thought you knew. 

Combining the best elements of a role-playing 
game (RPG) and a first-person shooter (FPS), Deus 
Ex provides a truly cross-audience experience. 

turns upside-down, and you have to forget every- Instead of leaving your fate to a roll of the dice, 

RPG fans can use their own skills to decide their 
fate. Instead of running down endless corridors 
with a generic character and a hokey plot, FPS 
fans can decide what kind of player they want to 
be — whether it's a player that jumps straight into 
a fight or someone who sneaks past everyone 
unnoticed — the choice is yours. 


Open the CD in Konqueror and click on 
Setup.exe. If you're lucky, it will start automatical- 
ly. If not, right-click and choose the entry called 
WINE and wait a few moments. If this doesn't 
work, right-click on the file and choose Open 
With^Other. Type wine in the empty field and 
check the boxes for Run in terminal and 
Remember application association for this type of 
file. If this still doesn't work, you probably don't 
have WINE installed. Install WINE using your 
favorite package manager and then try again. 


Open the CD and try double-clicking on Setup.exe 
and wait to see if it starts. If it doesn't, right-click 
on the file and see if there's an option to open it 
with WINE. If not, choose Open with Other 
Application and type wine in the new dialog box. 
The installer should now start. Choose your lan- 
guage and click Next and then I Agree for the 
license agreement. You now have a choice of 
where to install the game. Unless you know what 
you are doing, simply click Next. Now comes the 
component choice, choose everything except 
DirectX. Click Next, and you are ready to install the 
game. Click Install and wait a few minutes until it 
has copied all of the game files to hard disk. "-4S 


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Figure 3. OpenGL is the optimal choice, but software rendering is there if you need it. 


You are now presented with a screen called Deus 
Ex Options; choose Play from the menu. Next 
comes the 3-D Device Selection menu. Click on 
the Show all devices option, and choose OpenGL 

Support (Figure 3). Now click Next, Next and 
Run!, and then wait. If all went well, you should 
now be in the game. If not, read the trouble- 
shooting section after this. To access the game 
the next time, look in your menu under 

Wine^Programs^Deus Ex^Play Deus Ex. 

If you don't have any of these entries, you 
still can browse for the game manually, but to 
get there, you have to enable Show Hidden 
Files. Under Nautilus and Konqueror, simply 
click on View^Show Hidden Files. Now browse 
your way to .wine/drive_c/DeusEx from your 
home directory. You will see a folder called 
System; this is where the game's main exe- 
cutable lies, and you will probably want to 
make a link to it. This is a simple process, and 
we'll show you how to do it in both Konqueror 
and Nautilus. (Note that this is unnecessary if 
you have the menu entries available.) 


Open up a new window and go to your home 
directory (or wherever you want the link to be 
made). Click and drag the System directory to 
the window with your home directory. A new 
dialog menu appears with a choice of Move 
here, Copy here and Link here; choose Link 
Here. The link will be made, making it easy to 
get to the folder in future. However, the link 
will be called System, and this might be a bit 
confusing later on; feel free to rename it to 
something like Deus Ex link. 


Open a new window and open your home direc- 
tory. Middle-click (probably your mouse-wheel — if 
not, click the left and right mouse buttons at the 
same time), and drag the folder in to your home 
directory's window. Choose Link here in the new 
menu and the link will be made; feel free to 
rename it. 43 



Using menus can be very convenient, but 
opening up a program via the command 
line is usually the best option. Quite 
often a program won't exit properly and 
will still be running in the background. If 
you have a command-line terminal open, 
and you don't have the usual blinking 
cursor, the program is probably still run- 
ning. Try pressing Ctrl-C to kill badly 
behaving programs. 

WINE is unfinished and probably will 
not run perfectly. If a program fails to 
run, try updating to the latest version of 
WINE. At Winehq, there is an application 
database for Windows programs 
( Look around 
for your program, and see if there are 
any comments made by other users as 
to how they got the program to work. 

The standard version of WINE is 
designed for all Windows applications. 
For something that's gaming-specific, 
try Transgaming's Cedega, available at Cedega 
is based on WINE, but with added 
extensions specifically for gaming. WINE 
is the better choice for normal Windows 
applications (plus it's free), but Cedega 
runs a lot more games. It is a commer- 
cial application, but don't worry, the 
price is reasonable. See Kevin Brown's 
article on Cedega on page 42. 

To run the game, follow the instruc- 
tions as before in the Installation section, 
but run the file called DeusEx.exe. 


OpenGL rendering is what you're aiming 
for, but decent OpenGL support wasn't 
included until later versions. If you have 
the Game of the Year Edition or a later 
release version, you should be fine. Players 
with older versions may have to resort to 
software rendering. However, 
Transgaming's Cedega runs any version 
quite well with the in-game standard 
Direct3D rendering. I tried patching it, but 
to no avail; the game simply didn't start 
when patched. 

If the game crashes the first time, 
don't be disappointed; it should run the 
second time. If all else fails, there's always 
ugly-old software rendering, but try play- 
ing around in safe mode first (which is 
available under the same menu as the 
game). Drivers always can be a problem 
too, and updating your drivers is a good 
idea, as old drivers can result in graphical 
glitches and full-screen problems. 

Depending on your version of WINE 
and your video card drivers, you might 
find that desktop components like KDE's 
kicker are in the way when you go to 
full screen; if this is so, you can at least 
hide the Kicker by clicking on its Hide 
Panel. Or, if you're the kind of user 
that's comfortable and familiar with 
lightweight desktops, I recommend try- 
ing out the game under a desktop like 

Fluxbox or Openbox, where large sec- 
tions of GUI aren't in the way in the 
first place. I also found that sometimes 
KDE's desktop icons can be thrown 
around into random positions. If so, it 
certainly is worth trying Deus Ex under 
another desktop. 

After running the game, you might 
find that you have either no sound or very 
loud sound, or that 3-D graphics are now 
running poorly. For sound, check your vol- 
ume levels; it appears that WINE sends 
volume levels haywire. I've found that 
sometimes the Master control becomes 
muted, and on older versions of WINE, 
I've had the Wave volume at 100%. For 
graphics, if video performance becomes 
poor, try logging out and restarting the X 
Windows System. To restart the X 
Windows System, look in the login menu 
at startup under Actions. If you don't have 
this, try using the keyboard shortcut of 
Ctrl-Alt-Backspace. If you still don't have 
success, reboot your machine. 

Although there are a number of prob- 
lems, the game really warrants the effort. 
WINE gaming is always a tricky venture, 
and Deus Ex is actually one of the better- 
behaved games. The WINE Project is 
always getting better, but the constantly 
updated versions of Windows makes for a 
moving target, adding to an already 
immense task. If you stick with it and get 
the game running, you won't be disap- 
pointed. Deus Ex has amazing gameplay, 
which is truly rewarding, making for an 
all-time classics 

John Knight is a 21- 
year-old, rock-climbing, 
Japan-loving megalo- 
maniac, trying to take 
over the world from his 
bedroom via his key- 
board. He spends most 
of his time tinkering 
with MPIayer and head- 
banging to his MP3s. 5D